Just in time for the start of my second content strategy project work, I’ve remembered a few learnings from the first one. I would now like to share them with all those, who are either currently working on the concept of their second, third or future first project work.

#1 Start with a plan

What would I never do in my professional life? Start a project without a plan and goal. What did I do on my first project work? Exactly the opposite … For that reason, I highly recommend to anyone to start with a (project) plan beforehand. Define goals, focus, stakeholder and your personal time effort.

#2 Always start with the business requirements

A business requirements matrix helps to define the business goals and to prioritize content requirements. It aligns content to agreed business goals. The business requirements matrix should include a list of business requirements, a description of the requirements, and a prioritization or scoring system (Must Have/Should Have/Nice to Have). A requirements matrix keeps stakeholders and businesses focused on why they produce content, rather than simply what should be created.

The important thing is to get the client or stakeholder to agree on the defined business goals, as well as the prioritization of the content deliverables. Some well-known content strategists call it the “cover-your-ass-document”. The requirements matrix can also be used for new sites, content migration projects or multichannel campaigns.

#3 Simplicity rules

Say goodbye to perfectionism very quickly and join the team #MutzurLücke. Whoever packs too many topics, perspectives, approaches, modules, etc. into her/his project work will never cope. In my experience, the degree of frustration increases with the number of pages. Therefore, focus on a few less aspects.

#4 Writing is a process

I have to say that sometimes I’m fascinated by how quickly you can successfully displace topics. Just as one probably forgets the pain of a birth, one also forgets the “pain” that comes with writing a project work. Even at school and during my bachelor studies, I hated writing long seminar papers. Sitting quietly and concentrated for a little over an hour is an impossibility to me. Suddenly distractions are in front of you like on the presentation plate. My apartment was hardly cleaner than in the exam time. Not a single speck of dust or cat hair was found.

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#5 Don’t forget about the business requirements matrix

And finally. Never forget the Business Requirements Matrix. Every action, every goal, every content format – everything must always have a business purpose and match the needs of your business goals. I did not mention it earlier, but Excel is your closest confidant.

#6 Plan the day after the deadline

Actually, only five tips were planned. The sixth tip is only for those on-the-go pushers and deadline-lovers, not for those who already have a perfect command of Sarah Knight’s art. After writing most of my project work in four days without interruption, I didn’t know what to do with the spare time at the first moment. So always have a plan B for the day after the deadline in the drawer.

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Written by bauersteph

I live in Lower Austria, work in Upper Austria and studied communications science in Salzburg and currently I am studying in Styria. Since 2011 I am part of the voestalpine Group Communications department. As mentioned before I started to study content strategy at the FH Joanneum Graz in September 2017.

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