July 15, 2020
Experienced at experience: Streamlining systems for digital delivery
By Andrew Frost, Practice Director, Marketing Solutions, Rego Consulting; and Sam Chapman, Senior Consultant, Rego Consulting
Customer experience as a strategic business pillar can be a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for innovative upstarts to seize market share as they embrace the challenges of digital delivery. On the other hand, the digital dynamics giving rise to this opportunity are the very same drivers that stymie organizations across industries. In his 2016 book, Hacking Marketing, author Scott Brinker summarizes these dynamics: speed, adaptability, adjacency, scale, and precision.
Rego Consulting, an industry leader in project and portfolio management, and our experienced practitioners work with marketing organizations to meet and exceed these expectations. We have observed that companies that invest in getting the infrastructure right for both operations and delivery are the ones that win. Adobe is one of these companies.
Over the last few years, Rego and Workfront have partnered to help Adobe achieve the full benefits of today’s digital dynamics—from speed to scale—by integrating Adobe’s digital asset management tool with its enterprise work management solution to create one easy-to-use system of record. One of our most successful engagements has been with the creative operations group for their digital experience business.
Integrate to streamline and simplify.
Creighton McEwen and his team of studio managers in the Adobe Studio—Adobe’s in-house creative team—are no strangers to digital dynamics. Speed is one of the biggest operational challenges, as scaling rapid delivery of world-class creative assets is no small task. They were also looking for more dynamic resource management, asset management, reporting, and increased collaboration and transparency with internal and external marketing partners.
According to McEwen, “Because of a couple of different acquisitions Adobe made, we had members of our team working in a total of four different project management platforms. So, we needed to consolidate into as few environments as possible.”
McEwen recognized that the consolidated system would have to be integrated with their digital asset management tool, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Assets, to achieve the operational benefits of today’s digital dynamics. As an enterprise work management solution designed for combining work, collaboration, and digital artifacts into one easy-to-use system of record, Workfront was ideally suited to provide this kind of integrated connectivity with AEM.
With these operational goals established, it came down to crafting the right processes and technical configurations to bring together AEM Assets and Workfront into a cohesive and powerful work management ecosystem.
Overcome the metadata megachallenge.
As Rego set out to tackle this work, we soon learned that our metadata strategy would be central to the success of the initiative. The challenge was to determine the critical metadata that needed to be associated with final assets in AEM, when and where to capture metadata in Workfront, and how to automate syncing of metadata from various objects in Workfront to a single, final asset in AEM.
By creating precise metadata maps at the outset, the process was considerably more efficient. Data capture that would have been part of a standard workflow, regardless of asset metadata requirements, could now be used to populate metadata fields.
Map the problem—and the solution.
From the beginning, Rego worked with Adobe to map the current state for all the teams, allowing the entire creative operations team to understand what was happening. This approach helped shine a light on pain points and inefficiencies.
Next, we held collaborative design sessions to work through the problems and challenges and build buy-in across the team. Rego looked carefully at how the Workfront integration with AEM needed to function in terms of data collection, and then used that analysis to determine the necessary changes to the standard operating model.
Knowing the significance of the metadata challenge pushed the teams to weave the metadata requirements into the broader data construct. This ensured that data capture was aligned with the standard operating model to cut down on overhead and improve timing, turnaround, and delivery.
Post-integration, Adobe’s creative operations group is better equipped to collaborate and manage creative content by linking AEM assets and folders to projects, tasks, issues, and requests in Workfront. The group can also combine and apply metadata from both applications to an asset. Because updates and comments made to an asset either in Workfront or AEM Assets are synchronized to the other application, they have an all-inclusive view of the complete communication stream for each asset.
McEwen and his team are always looking ahead as they continue to evolve their creative tech stack to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s digital world. Rego will be sure to keep the story going as we tackle future challenges to simplify work and empower people across the Adobe enterprise.
In the same boat? Three ways to harness work management.
If you face a similar situation, here are a few guiding principles for following Adobe’s lead for harnessing Workfront:
Don’t underestimate the power of mapping out your work. Sure, you know your workflows, but seeing it as a process diagram makes it much easier to gain a broader perspective and understand how pain points manifest themselves—and how to eliminate them!
Invest in your operating model. Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” You cannot deliver world-class digital experiences without world-class operations, so take the time and sharpen the axe.
Connect with experts. Connecting work across your digital marketing processes is still a developing discipline. Partner with trusted experts to evaluate where you are and where you want to go to get counsel on selecting both the correct practices and technologies to get you safely to your destination.
About Rego Consulting
Rego expert guides are Workfront deployment experts with deep experience as modern Work Management practitioners and consultants. We give clients unmatched technical and functional expertise at costs that are 20% to 40% less than our competitors. Whether you need a new implementation, managed support, or strategic consulting, Rego Consulting can help you get your best work done. Learn more at regoconsulting.com.