Can all content be centrally planned?

Simple answer: yes.

However, for many organisations the gap between how content is currently planned (i.e. within lots of separate teams) and planning content centrally may appear too enormous a challenge. To cross the gap, you need to take a big step back.

Talking about ‘central planning’ has a ‘command and control’ air to it that many people would quite rightly associate with hard political challenges to reach that position and with a giant question-mark about whether the benefits of success would justify the fight.

That’s why the better way to think of central content planning is less about the ‘who’ (i.e. who should be in control) and more about the ‘how’ (i.e. how the content could be centrally planned). Put that way, departmental politics can take a slight backseat as each of the many functions that creates content can remain in place creating and delivering to meet their needs but doing so within a central content system that connects all of the disparate content together.

This is, after all, how newspapers are pulled together. Each section within the newspaper is its own fiefdom – news, sports, features, etc. Each decides what content to produce for the next issue. And each function feeds this content into a central plan to not only manage production workflow but to enable the Editor to focus on pulling together a balanced publication that is best suited for the readership.

Similarly, in the world of business the single, central plan allows you to pull together the content to create the best possible customer experience when engaging with your content. Arguably, having an Editor-in-Chief overseeing all the content would provide significant additional benefits, but you don’t need to start there.

However to make centrally planned content work, the plan would need to be built around content journey maps in the way such as we do with Odyssiant. Without such an approach, the system is simply acting as a central repository without the ability to connect the content together.