By: Jonathan DeVore on September 23rd, 2022
How to Prepare For a Content Planning Workshop
You wouldn’t want to live in a house that wasn’t carefully planned.
If the architect and construction company simply came to your lot and started nailing random boards together, that would never pass a safety inspection!
This is why before you build a home the architect prepares a blueprint. That blueprint is physical evidence of the preparation and planning that went into the house. It ensures that everything will be done up to code. And you won’t have to worry about falling through the floor one day.
A Content Planning Workshop helps your team gain clarity on what is needed and prepare the blueprint for your knowledge management and training strategy.
When you sign up for a Content Planning Workshop with ScreenSteps — a knowledge base and training software company — we are the architect partnering with you to build your dream home.
As the Director of Transformational Services at ScreenSteps, I’ve gone through many workshops with different companies. It never ceases to amaze me how spending time in a 4-hour workshop can completely change how companies approach documentation and training.
This blog post will help you understand the purpose, process, and outcomes of running a Content Planning Workshop with ScreenSteps.
What is a Content Planning Workshop?
A Content Planning Workshop is a deep dive into what kind of resources your employees need to help them perform the job they’ve been hired to do. As such, you want to dedicate a good chunk of time to aligning and organizing your team.
This helps you determine which articles you need to document in your knowledge base as well as sets a baseline for what you need to include in your employee training.
Your goal with the workshop is to develop a plan to get your knowledge base so it is 80-90% complete. (As the knowledge base matures, you’ll discover knowledge gaps and add to it.)
The Content Planning Workshop helps you launch your company on the path to planning, creating, and publishing content that is accessible to all your end-users.
What happens during a Content Planning Workshop?
The quickest and easiest way to explain a Content Planning Workshop is to use the 5Ws. Here’s a quick overview of how a Content Planning Workshop goes down.
1. Who meets?
You decide who will attend the workshop. There is no limit on the number of people who can attend but remember — more people do not necessarily mean a better meeting. Having too many people attend is the equivalent of having too many chefs in the kitchen.
You really only want your key content players at the meeting. We go into more details on who from your organization needs to attend the Content Planning Workshop below.
Also, one or more members of the ScreenSteps team will attend the workshop. The ScreenSteps expert will lead the conversation to help you align your team and organize your thoughts.
2. What do you do in the workshop?
During the workshop, we will go over your questions and flesh out the different tasks you need your employees to be able to do. Together you will create a comprehensive inventory for your employees, which includes:
- Call types/requests they need to respond to
- Tasks they need to perform
- Problems they need to solve
- Information they need to reference
Often, these discussions are messy at first. Different people have different opinions on what tasks need to be done and how those tasks are supposed to be completed. That’s the point of the workshop — to iron all of this out so you have a clear, concise, and actionable list.
The ScreenSteps experts on the call will lead the discussion and take notes. They document everything. Then they send you the notes in a file after you’ve completed the workshop.
3. Where do you meet?
The Content Planning Workshop is held virtually. We can meet over Zoom or on your company’s online meeting platform.
4. When do you meet?
Once you sign up for the Content Planning Workshop, a member of the ScreenSteps team will reach out to schedule a time for your workshop.
For a Content Planning Workshop with our ScreenSteps team, we recommend four hours for your workshop. You can choose to have your workshop scheduled in one 4-hour session or you can opt to have two 2-hour sessions or multiple 1-hour sessions.
5. Why do you meet?
The purpose of the content planning workshop is to create clarity in your company. It helps your team know and agree on exactly what your employees need to do.
Also, a Content Planning Workshop helps align your operations and training team. This helps new hires come out of training more prepared to perform their jobs proficiently.
3 people who NEED to attend the Content Planning Workshop
You’ll want to invite a group of key content players to the Content Planning Workshop. These invitees all fulfill different roles in the discussion.
By inviting people from different perspectives, you help fill any knowledge and training gaps. Often, training is separated from operations, but we want them on the same page. Additionally, you align purpose and intent between your operations and training teams.
These are a few people that need to attend the Content Planning Workshop.
Your trainer is in charge of preparing your new hires for the role they will play in the company. They teach your employees how to do their jobs.
Your trainer (or someone from the training team) will be able to contribute information on what is currently being taught.
The supervisor is someone who is with the employees. They are on the frontlines with your employees after they complete training and into their careers. They know the operations of the business.
Supervisors help employees do their jobs. Because of this, they know:
- What tasks employees need to do
- What questions employees have
- What employee mistakes they need to fix
3. Role or position representative
No one knows better what needs to be done on a job than the people who actually do the job.
As part of your workshop team, you need a representative for the role you are trying to train for. If you are training for a call center agent at the Tier 1 level, you want someone who is currently in that role. They can speak about their experience and speak to what support they need in different situations.
Bonus: Additional people
The three roles above are those who absolutely need to attend a Content Planning Workshop to collect the necessary information. In addition, you could invite others to the conversation.
Be cautious. You don’t want to crowd your workshop. You want a space where it is easy for the key players to discuss and decide on what content needs to be created.
One additional person you may consider inviting is your director. Directors have a big picture of how this workshop fits within the larger company goals. The directors can help everyone stay focused and remember what the end goal is.
What do you need to prepare for the workshop?
Technically, you don’t need to prepare anything for a Content Planning Workshop. If you are invited to a Content Planning Workshop, you just need to bring yourself and the knowledge you have for your job.
If you would like to brainstorm ahead of time, these are the general questions you will discuss:
- What systems and tools do employees use?
- What are the jobs that people are being asked to do?/ What questions are people are being asked to answer?
- What different tasks do people have to do in response to those requests?
- What information do people need to reference?
Start the discussion to align your team
It’s difficult to take the steps to better align your team and standardize the operations in your company. While it is work, it pays off.
At the end of a Content Planning Workshop with ScreenSteps, your team will come away with:
- A clear plan for creating your content
- Alignment between training and operations
- A spreadsheet with a detailed list of articles you need to create
ScreenSteps partners with you to create a clear plan of attack so that you can optimize your knowledge management and sync up your team.
Talk to a ScreenSteps representative to learn more about and schedule a Content Planning Workshop with our knowledge management experts.