A large health insurance company needs to produce articles for their monthly, member newsletter. In some ways, these articles are just like any other piece of content. They need to be engaging so people actually read them. They should offer value to the customers. They need to be accurate and well written.
But that’s not where it ends. In this case, making sure the article is correct isn’t just a matter of following the rules of good grammar. The advice given in the article needs to be medically sound. The best case scenario is that article could motivate the reader to engage in a health-promoting behavior. (This would not only be good for reader, it could result in lower health expenses and therefore improve the company’s bottom line.)
The company solicits articles from a variety of contributors. Each article needs to be triaged, categorized, have the references checked, and the author credentials verified. The articles need to use a consistent “voice” and should reference or link to other articles that the organization has published on the subject. Approval will need to be given from an editorial, medical and, in some cases, legal point of view.
The workflow might look something like this. An editorial committee releases a call for articles on a given set of topics. When articles come in, they are assigned to an editor who catalogues the article, checks on the underlying research, verifies the authors credentials, and makes any needed edits. The editor then sends the article to the Lead Marketing Editor who will determine whether or not the article is appropriate for the current newsletter, should be held for later, or should not be used. If the article is selected for inclusion, it is then forwarded to the Medical editor for editing and approval. Then it needs to go back to the Lead Marketing Editor for publishing and distribution.
Trying to manage a process like this in email would be a nightmare, especially when you need to meet a deadline. Critical emails would sit stale in inboxes. Attachments would be forgotten. One person's edits would conflict with another person's edits and important steps could easily be forgotten.
The Same Process in Jira Service Desk.
- The editorial committee decides that it would be useful for readers to hear the latest research on whether or not patients without heart disease should take statins. They publish a call for submissions to their circle of medical authors.
- Authors submit their candidate articles via the Jira Service Desk portal. When they select the Newsletter Article request type, a form opens, providing them with fields to input the article title, abstract and text, as well as their name, specialty and medical license number. This could be done by adding a ProForma form that includes all of the necessary fields and can be published to JSD portal. If the Marketing team decides that the information they need to collect has changed, they can update the form without requiring assistance from IT.
- The request comes into the Marketing teams service queue. Because it the request type is “Newsletter Article” (as opposed to “Brochure,” “Podcast” “Social Media Post,” etc.) it is automatically sent to appropriate team member.
- Before the article can go any further, credentials need to be verified. The marketing team member adds a second "check references" form to the request (now an issue) and completes the form, showing that he has verified the author's medical license and checked any research referred to in the article. He then clicks Ready for Review.
- The Marketing Editor doesn’t need to dig through her inbox and open individual emails to see which articles are ready for her to review. Rather, she can simply glance at the queue and open the issues that have an In Review status. She can see the article, the author's credentials and the fact that references have been checked, all right there on the issue. Now she can either approve the article, thereby sending it on to the Medical Editor for final approval, or reject it, noting the changes that need to be made and sending it back to a team member to be fixed.
- The Medical Editor can follow the same process, approving the article or sending it back for more changes.
- When the article has received all of the needed approvals, it can be published.
Advantages of Using Jira for Content Creation
In addition to avoiding the email bottleneck, there are several advantages to this system:
- One-touch service – Combining Jira Service Desk with ProForma forms that include all of the needed fields, ensures that teams receive all of the information required. Since all of the needed data is collected up front, no time is lost going back and forth for more information.
- Built-in Governance – You can customize your workflow to include as many levels of approval as your process requires. Many content creation processes will be able to use the workflow included in Atlassian’s content creation template.
Others, as in the example described above, may require multiple layers of approval. You have multiple options for adding approvals in Jira.
- Service Queues – Jira Service Desk organizes requests into a service queue. The queue can be customized to any team’s needs, prioritizing certain requests types or automatically assigning given request types to a designated team member.
- Transparency – Anyone associated with the request can see its status at any time. This saves time for everyone is there is no need to interrupt coworkers to ask the status of an issue.
- Traceability – Jira includes a comprehensive audit trail so you always know who initiated, worked on and approved requests.
- Reportability – Moving processes into Jira makes it easy to measure have often a given process is requested and how much time is needed to resolve those requests. This empowers teams to plan for demand and better allocate their resources.
Content creation is just one of an infinite number of business processes that can be made more efficient, more transparent and more standardized using Jira Service Desk and ProForma.