GovKM.com – New Information Title? – Content Strategist

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. recently placed a job listing on Careerbuilder (for as long as the link lasts) under the job title, Content Strategist. In addition to a paragraph of general consultant expectations, the most interesting bullets in the job description read:

  • [X] years of experience with content strategy and organization with enterprise–level Web content management system
  • Experience with gathering content requirements
  • Experience with the integration of content entering a system through different workflows
  • Experience in Web site taxonomy, metadata strategies, and the implementation of those strategies in a CMS environment
  • Experience with Microsoft Office products, HTML, and the use of Web Content Management Systems
  • Ability to translate existing information architectures into WCMS’s
  • Ability to visualize future content needs and build scalable solutions

(FYI, true to this blog’s name, although the client was not specified, the requirement for a TS/SCI clearance and the Full-time Equivalent’s (FTE’s) Place of Performance (PoP) being Laurel, MD, just outside Fort Meade, this is very likely in support of NSA Headquarters or certainly in support of some government agency.)

Concerning the job listing, as an information manager, these bullets raise questions for me…

[X] years of experience with content strategy and organization with enterprise–level Web content management systems

  • On what is the content strategy based?
    • Organizational strategic plan, maybe?
    • Director’s calendar?
  • Intranet content or Extranet content?
  • Who are the content owners/submitters?
  • What content management system (CMS) is being employed?

Experience with gathering content requirements

  • What is the existing hierarchical structure between the Requirements Gathering Team, the customers from whom requirements are gathered, and the development team?
  • Who assigns priority to projects once requirements are defined?
  • Does a form/checklist/template already exist which the Requirements Gathering Team uses for requirements collection?
  • What content management system (CMS) is being employed?
  • What is the current method the organization uses to allow customers to request solutions for which requirements must be gathered?
  • Is there a government lead for the Requirements Gathering Team? Grade?
  • What metric(s) identifies success for the Requirements Gathering Team?

Experience with the integration of content entering a system through different workflows

  • How is content being defined?
  • What governance exists allowing or disallowing content publication without approval?
  • What is the archival and disposition instruction for CMS-workflow-generated content?
  • Does the organization have an information management policy?
  • What content management system (CMS) is being employed?

Experience in Web site taxonomy, metadata strategies, and the implementation of those strategies in a CMS environment

  • Does an organizational taxonomy already exist?
    • {This is paramount! Without an enterprise-level, agreed-upon taxonomy, every other organizational KM initiative promises to fail!}
    • What is the plan for the development of an organizational taxonomy?
    • Is its development part of the Statement of Work (SOW)?
    • {Unless you are trained in taxonomics, this might be a deal breaker. Accepting a position which requires development of an organizational taxonomy, might be biting off too much. Sub this to a librarian. They’d love the chance to make some real money and they’re trained in this work.}
  • Are there any existing metadata strategies in place?
    • If yes, on what taxonomy were they created?
    • What scope of the organization are the metadata strategies expected to affect?
  • What content management system (CMS) is being employed?

Ability to translate existing information architectures into WCMS’s

  • How is “information architectures” being defined?
  • Are shared drives considered information architectures? If so, what is the plan to migrate them to the CMS?
  • Is the management of shared drives part of the SOW?
  • What content management system (CMS) is being employed?

Ability to visualize future content needs and build scalable solutions

  • What is the mission of the office which this position supports?
  • What content management system (CMS) is being employed?

This is clearly knowledge work. However, the magnitude of the scope must be clarified by the customer.

Answers to the questions,

  • Does the organization have an information management policy?
  • Does an organizational taxonomy already exist?
  • Are shared drives considered information architectures? If so, what is the plan to move them to the CMS?

will reveal the customer’s expectations and understanding of the problems they likely face. If the answers include an expectation for the consultant to complete these tasks, the client does not understand their magnitude and pass on this opportunity.

You probably also noticed the question,

  • What content management system (CMS) is being employed?

was asked below every bullet in the list.

While a CMS is a critical part of the KM strategy, alone it fixes very little that does not require correction later once other elements, like metadata, are implemented.

Still, it is interesting to see that certain qualifying elements in information science are being sought by employers. And, even more interesting that the title is being tinkered with – Content Strategist. The title, however, is too narrow because content is only a small portion of overall organizational information.

Content Strategists, now renamed to Information Strategists, aim to secure positions that can affect organizational information from the most senior perspective.

2 thoughts on “GovKM.com – New Information Title? – Content Strategist”

  1. If the question is redefining “INFORMATION” management with “Content Strategist”, I can buy into that.

    Since im one of those KM as art/KM as decision support, i cannot equate Content Strategist to KM.

    That said, a good KM team will have Content Strategists as a necessary asset.

    1. Would you consider the bullets in BAH’s job listing,

      – [X] years of experience with content strategy and organization with enterprise–level Web content management system
      – Experience with gathering content requirements
      – Experience with the integration of content entering a system through different workflows
      – Experience in Web site taxonomy, metadata strategies, and the implementation of those strategies in a CMS environment
      – Experience with Microsoft Office products, HTML, and the use of Web Content Management Systems
      – Ability to translate existing information architectures into WCMS’s
      – Ability to visualize future content needs and build scalable solutions,

      to be responsibilities of a “Government” Knowledge Manager or KM Team?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *