“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” – John Ruskin

After endearing thousands of fans, making new friends, and getting a little studio time along the way, something yet lacks. All of this goofing off on the road, taking pictures and seeing sights – what does it all mean? You’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, and suddenly, the life of a rock star feels so…empty.

As a key decision maker – as an artist (everyone’s favorite phrase) – you could feel as though you’ve lost your edge some days. You might think, where has my band gone? Why do we play hair metal now? Why are my documents riddled with error?

“Get it together, Sport.” 
That’s your Band Manager talking. Thank heaven for him, always there to balance you out.

Who cleaned up after you guys trashed the hotel room, saving hundreds of dollars in fines? Who complained when the soundboard guy had no idea what he was doing and almost bombed your show? Who’s there when you and your sleepy, non-compliant bandmates go through the motions, like a swarm of lethargic tornadoes, slinking around and diminishing the value of every piece of furniture they sit on?

“GET PRACTICING!” he says.

His name is Governance. Sometimes you think he’s a buzzkill – but he’s needed, and he deserves a spotlight once in a while. No system can run properly without certain checks in place, and Governance is just that.

In this section, we’re going to highlight the ways in which a business can oversee its document production process and still remain efficient. Since every customer communication is a “touchpoint” with the capacity to impact customer acquisition and retention, we view this as a high level strategy taken on by the whole organization. Specifically, with respect to CCM, the goal is to generate a high volume of documents that comply with government regulations and industry standards but are also engaging to customers.

The generation of documents can involve a complex workflow through various departments; but Governance, the Greatest Band Manager of All Time (The GBMOAT), is here to help you stick to the script. He’s the hub of your truth – let him remind you of who you are. What I mean to say is that we ought to centralize our activity as much as possible, so as to keep things from getting lost in translation. We need faculties that get us “back to the basics”.

It’s the expectation of good CCM software – giving meaning to the “M” part, the Management. Because efficient businesses don’t sweat the details as they come (“Cross that bridge when we get to it” is actually code for “Let’s drive off a bridge!”). They have already prepared for them.

PART 3: Governance

One Location
The Road Is Not Your Home

New environments can cause people to take on entirely new identities. In the same way, Business identity can be dictated by the quality of governance it submits to – part of governance is overseeing the activity between and within your various document production environments.

If you’re even a little interested in CCM (well, you’ve read this far), you already know your customer base is too voluminous for the management to be checking every individual correspondence for proper legal compliance, or confirming that it meets a specific customer preference. You could drown in a roaring sea of muddled customer information. Stay away from that bridge!

 Imagine, as a performing artist, being responsible for providing each member of the band with an instrument. Without question, that is sub-par – the expectation is that they bring their own, right? But what if even that is agreed upon, and – for all intents and purposes – one member does not?

This is where the Greatest Band Manager of All Time swoops in – he already bought everyone instruments. It is likewise with governance. The tasks that comprise a workflow do not have to be individual, scattered projects when they are informed by a single, systemic philosophy; something of a constitution for your document production.

 CCM software allows us to assemble shared digital assets and template components (style sheets, images, terms and conditions, cover pages, headers, footers, contact information), to give you centralized control of content and layout across multiple delivery channels. It solves an obvious multitasking/micromanaging problem. The system will support the assurance that every supplementary component is delivered to the appropriate departments, so you don't have to spread yourself thin.

 If you need apply any industry or organization-specific rules to your documents, those can be collected into a central location, too. This kind of management could save hours of manual work, allowing employees to move further down their docket of tasks.

              “Stick to the guitar, let ME handle the lights,” says Governance.

Review & Approval
Microphone Check

Remember when we talked about letting Governance remind you of who you are? One day, your drummer thought it would be really “cooool” and “edgyyy” to switch instruments for a set.

“It’s, like, performance aaart, duuude! Yasss!”

This doesn’t bode for a happy audience. Your customers will be most pleased when everyone in your organization is in their element. Again, because this is a “high-level” operation it means everyone involved in customer communications has some level of oversight.

Communication can be carried out by document authors, service agents, and even production managers. But this does not mean they all have the same capabilities. Different credentials can be assigned to review, edit, and approve different steps in your CCM projects. Everyone’s share of responsibility will be clear from beginning to end; and whatever environment you are working in will be isolated to keep your data safe.

In EOS-CCM, for example, security policies can be enforced to where staff and customers are controlled by user credentials and assigned privileges. Any data, at rest or in transit, can be encrypted. When your lead guitarist reaches for the drum sticks, the Band Manager gives him a slap on the wrist (or maybe just an error message).

The Opener Before The Opener 

The Band Manager is one of the few people who gets to hear your songs before you go on stage. He also has the best ear for mistakes – if he hears one, let him fix it!

 Likewise, a CCM solution with reliable governing structure allows you to submit sample documents, data models, and data visualizations for review and approval before committing changes in a project. Within the production environment, we get a chance to experience the document before the customers do, with an audit trail providing accountability. Any false notes, the GBMOAT will pick it up and know exactly who’s responsible.

This can be a completely dynamic, interactive, fail-proof system. Throughout the document production process you can offer access to multiple levels of control over content with ad-hoc edits and conditional review and approve triggers, giving the company a much firmer grip on its customer communications than it would have otherwise. 

By the time a document reaches your office, the only thing left to do will be to press send.

Conclusion: That One Song

If all good bands have reliable managers to clean up their acts, an effective CCM solution will offer controls to safeguard an organization’s customer communication policies. Your controls provide the answer to government regulatory changes or changes in customer preferences, and the company’s actions moving forward.

Governance entirely supports how a business melds with its surroundings – its reception as a brand, how the individual customer perceives the correspondence, and how fluid a relationship it has with official regulatory requirements. Within a business, it also is the regulation, ensuring that a system functions smoothly in every stage of its operation.

It’s as if the audience wants you to play a particular song – your number-one chart-topper. You might not like it, it might be tired on you; but you and your band know it perfectly. And if you don’t – the Greatest Band Manager of All Time will let you know. This re-centering, the essence of governance, ought to be present in all the software you take on, especially pertaining to something as vital as customer outreach.

On the road to perfect CCM, Governance will drive you – you and your band only have to jump into the van (read: Ecrion's intergalactic space cruiser).

Stay tuned for CCM For Strategic Thinkers, Part 4: Flexibility, Agility, and Risk Mitigation