Measurable Success «10 Checkpoints for Future-Proof Enterprise CMS» White Paper
Measurable Success - White Paper

The Benefits of Introducing Workflows

The Benefits of Introducing Workflows

A company’s content creation, maintenance and publishing procedures can hardly ever be derived from the company’s size, or the industry or region in which it is active. One may assume, however, that website content that is legally binding, corporate-identity-related, or mission critical with respect to marketing or sales matters is subject to stricter rules regarding quality control, approving, and publishing compared to short-living daily news, for example.

Scrivito’s workflow functionality allows you to set up rules reflecting your business procedures in which the production of content plays a central role.

Welcome to Merfolk Pharmaceutics Inc.

To illustrate how a company could streamline their growing content production process, let us imagine a US-based enterprise, Merfolk Inc., that distributes pharmaceuticals to pharmacies, clinics, healthcare institutes, etc. Merfolk also runs an online shop selling prescription-free medicines to consumers in the US and Canada.

Workflows for enterprises - example
One of Merfolk’s websites

Merfolk operates several websites next to their online shop and is currently focusing on content marketing. By publishing in-depth scientific articles, they hope to underline their innovativeness and capabilities in order to create trust, and win customers and partners.

No less than six Merfolk staff members dedicate their full time and compassion to assessing regional deficits of medical supply, monitoring and investigating pharmaceutical progress, and finally authoring highly substantial and interesting content. Two of the authors also act as chief editors, and are thus responsible for reviewing and finally publishing all articles and posts produced by the content marketing team.

As if this weren’t enough, Merfolk offers a considerable amount of documentation made up of pharmaceutical case studies, application area assessment results, and the like, mostly provided by business partners. These documents are managed and maintained by a small documentation team consisting of two junior editors and a supervisor, Merfolk’s Legal Manager.

Most of the content Merfolk publishes is written in English, but an increasing number of their articles is now either written in French or subsequently translated from English to French to address the Canadian market better. Fortunately, some members of the content marketing team were raised or educated in Canada and have a perfect command of both languages.

Teams setup

Now, let us set up Merfolk’s teams so as to reflect the responsibilities outlined above. Later on, we will create workflows based on these teams.

As a system default, all team members are permitted to create working copies and edit all content in them. However, accessing other users’ working copies or publishing any working copy requires the corresponding permission, just like managing users and workflows does.

This is what Merfolk’s teams setup looks like:

Team set-up example - enterprise workflows

The “Content marketing authors” and “Documentation editors” teams accommodate the actual content creators. They cannot publish their working copies or manage teams or workflows but are, of course, nevertheless able to share their work and collaborate to deliver watertight content.

The two of the six content marketing authors meant to review the content are also part of the “Content marketing reviewers” team. Its members are additionally able to access and publish all marketing working copies, and to assign responsibilities by setting up or aligning teams.

Finally, the “Documentation supervisors” team currently consists of a single member, the Legal Manager. This team is additionally in charge of defining workflows.

Introducing workflows

Working copy collaborators
Working copy collaborators

As mentioned, the content marketing team creates demanding in-depth articles. More often than not, the team members require each other’s support, e.g. for contributing knowledge or for copy editing. For this, the authors invite one or more of their colleagues as collaborators to their respective working copies. When doing this, the invitees can be given permission to either just view, or view and edit the working copy’s content.

For the content marketing team, a workflow has been set up to ensure that only the content in “their” website section can be changed. After finishing their work, the authors request a publish for their respective working copy. As specified in the workflow definition, the publication is preceded by a review stage.

The “Content marketing” workflow

“Content marketing” workflow

The important items in a workflow are the “Includes a review stage” toggle (switched on, here), the constraints definition, and the selected teams for creating working copies and, respectively, publishing them.

The workflow definition

[
  [
    {
      "field": "_path",
      "operator": "starts_with",
      "value": "/marketing"
    }
  ],
  [
    {
      "field": "_obj_class",
      "operator": "equals",
      "value": [
        "Article",
        "BlogPost",
        "Image"
      ]
    }
  ]
]

In the constraints definition, query-like rules (field/operator/value-based) can be specified to narrow down the content the working copy collaborators and the reviewers are permitted to work on. In our case, the definition limits the users’ access to CMS objects located in the “/marketing” website section and of the “Article”, “BlogPost”, and “Image” type:

The queries, which are expected to be provided in JSON, allow you to compare the CMS objects’ attributes (field) with a value (or a list of values) using an operator. Such comparisons represent constraints any CMS object must meet to be changeable.

For details about the fields and operators available, see Defining Content Constraints for Workflows.

The “Documentation” workflow

“Documentation” workflow

Now that we’ve set up our first workflow, it is easy to accomplish the rest. Analogously to the content marketing workflow, we require one for maintaining the documentation – remember the two junior editors and the reviewer, the head of the legal department?

The work of the “Documentation editors” and “Documentation supervisors” teams is restricted to the “/documentation” section of the website, and, of course, they may access images and other binaries (e.g. PDF files) as well. That’s all there is to it.

Final word of wisdom

Scrivito’s workflows have been designed to support companies in their endeavor to organize their content production for more efficiency, and to help authors focus on what they do best.

If you are planning to set up teams and workflows in your company, or are in the process of doing this, just keep in mind that the most important factor to efficient collaboration is trust, not control.

Happy authoring!