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7257Agile and content strategy

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  • writebyteuk
    Feb 17, 2011
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      Hello all:

      I'm a new member to this group but am prompted to post because I wanted to find out if anyone here has worked/is working with a content strategist (or any content person, for that matter - editor, copywriter, etc) on their agile projects.

      Last year, I was the content strategist on a team at a design agency that had been tasked with a fairly sizable website redesign. They'd decided to use agile, and this was my first experience trying to operate as a CS person in this way.

      One challenge was that I should have been brought in at sprint zero but wasn't for various reasons. So, when I arrived, the IA team had already developed the site map. While I had done a content audit, it was clear the IA team had not spent quality time with the deep-level content as I had. As we'd tackle a section of the site in a sprint, I'd have the chance to validate the current state content against the proposed IA. Invariably, I'd find gaps or redundancies, and we'd have to update the IA accordingly but this was never a major issue due to agile's iterative nature.

      Still, the process did leave me a bit frustrated at times since I felt that IA and design were leading content decisions and not the other way around. I also found I missed having that "big picture" view I can usually develop on more traditional waterfall projects.

      However, all that aside, the team by and large "got" the importance of the content, and wherever possible, real content was used in the wireframes and always in the designs and any prototypes used in the ongoing usability testing. I also found it valuable to have a voice in the daily scrums – either I or the copywriter would be there to raise content issues, thereby ensuring content always had a seat at the table.

      With the lovely benefit of hindsight, I am sure there are many things I could/should have done differently. But I would be curious to hear about other people's experiences, specifically as they relate to the role of content in your agile projects...

      Many thanks - Lisa
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