Learning by Wrote
Medidata Solutions Worldwide
Siemens Industry Software Limited
The Rockley Group
Senior technical writer,
"Agile content" suggests an evolution: from "documentation" -- monolithic, static, self-contained, passive structural descriptions of product as artefact -- towards information repositories -- multi-faceted, dynamic, connected, proactive and practical facilitators of product as solution.
In the life cycle of a customer's interaction with a product (and its provider), modern customers do not expect that they should know the internal organization of a company to determine whether they need a Product Update Bulletin from Sales or Screen Help from Tech pubs or a Field Alert from Support. They rightfully expect that they'll get the appropriate information exactly when they need it. Ideally, the customer doesn't even need to know that something like a "repository" exists; they simply receive the information content how and when they want it. Developing and delivering the content of such repositories is the challenge we all face right now.
For many organizations, the expectations of their customers have outpaced what their information managers can provide -- and in some cases, can even conceive of. The notion of "agile content" would thus seem to encompass several aspects: development of increasingly sophisticated information in multiple media, storing it in such a way that it is accessible and relevant throughout an organization, and designing the optimal user experience when the information is needed.