As a Learning Experience Designer at Skilljar, I often find myself creating a wide range of content, across several different formats, as well as for multiple audiences. It’s also common for some of these projects to overlap or to be put on pause for higher-priority projects.
Being able to put down one project, like a video or series of videos, and pick up another can be challenging. I would have notes about videos to create scattered in several different locations and have to compile them to make sure I had what I needed in order to get started. While this management process was technically getting the job done, I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t very efficient.
I recently had the opportunity to help develop a tool that would streamline my processes and make sure I am able to get the scope of a project in focus quickly, as well as know who and what each project was for. Enter the Customer Education Content Strategy Canvas!
The canvas is a straightforward document that helps you envision your Customer Education content projects by getting you to fill out some basic information before you dive in. Being able to jot down notes and answers in the fields will give you, your team, and your organization a better sense of what you are about to create. By identifying areas like the purpose, key stakeholders, production processes, and timelines upfront, you are making it clear what you will be working on, why, who needs to be involved, and how long you estimate it taking.
The canvas also includes a glossary of terms that gives you a summary of what each field should contain, but feel free to interpret the fields however they best fit your projects.
Being able to start each project with this tool enables me to organize the project and quickly get a handle on how it will fit within our company’s broader goals and initiatives.
Within organizations that are able to shift focus and priorities quickly, this information can be helpful for greenlighting or pausing certain projects in favor of others. This also helps key stakeholders have a better understanding of the project itself. If a project gets put on hold, when the time comes to pick it back up, you’ll know exactly what you need and who needs to be kept in the loop.
Let’s look at a recent example from a project that is currently in production. We are working on a new course for Skilljar Academy on the page called The Skillet. This is a page that focuses on providing resources for the Customer Education Community. The course is titled, Tips and Tools for Creating On-Demand Content. In the course, we explore some basic tips and common tools to help people get started or expand their knowledge when it comes to improving the quality of their own on-demand content.
This was the first time I used the content strategy canvas to organize the vision for the course ahead of time. One of the great features of this tool is that it can be shared and collaborated on electronically, but also updated as dates, people, and purposes change.
While I used this for an on-demand course within Skilljar Academy, this tool can be used for any type of content you’re creating, including videos, webinars, eBooks, whitepapers, and more. This tool is free and available to download here. I hope it helps you keep your projects organized and on track!