As one of the world's leading digital communications agencies, Investis is responsible for providing digital content for many big-name companies. In 2010, it decided to boost its digital governance processes by using Crownpeak DQM (formerly ActiveStandards) to monitor the client web content it delivers. The benefit was a smoother quality assurance process with fewer bottlenecks.
In 2010, Investis launched an upgrade of its content management systems, and decided this would be a perfect opportunity to incorporate automated quality assurance into its processes.
Innovation was also a key goal. John Clifford, Quality and Content Consultant at Investis says: "Our client base includes some of the world's best-known names and they expect high levels of innovation. They want to feel confident that we are giving them access to the latest, most effective tools. So we are constantly on the lookout for technology that will help us deliver on these expectations."
Investis was already familiar with Crownpeak DQM's work on the BSI British Standards code of practice: PAS 124:2011: 'Defining, implementing and managing website policies and standards'. Clifford says: "Crownpeak DQM is the leading expert in digital governance systems and processes. We had encountered them before, as the lead consultants to PAS 124, which we used as the basis for our internal web standards documentation. Since DQM is based on the same standards, we felt it was a great fit."
A key priority for Investis was to establish an incremental quality assurance process that would help eliminate bottlenecks towards the end of a site build. Clifford says: "We'd started to find that quality assurance was left to the later stages of the site build. The job was still done thoroughly, but because so much work had to be crammed into a few days, it often meant a lot of extra hours for our QA team."
Rather than building the site and then getting the production team to carry out a thorough audit in a limited time-frame, Investis wanted to ensure that errors were resolved throughout the build process, freeing up more time for other things.
To help Investis achieve its goal of incremental QA, DQM was configured to monitor client staging sites on a daily basis. Clifford says: "During the build, we're constantly adding and changing things, so there is a lot of scope for errors to be introduced to the staging site. The daily monitoring is really valuable, as it means we don't get any nasty pre-launch surprises, and it enables us to manage our workflow more effectively. When we put a site live, we know it's in good shape, so the daily check-up acts as a safety net."
With DQM in place, Investis has experienced several efficiency benefits.
Smoother QA processes
Investis production teams now receive the latest DQM report first thing in the morning. This means they can incorporate error resolution into their daily workload. Clifford says: "The QA process has become a lot more incremental. The daily error reports have greatly reduced the amount of extra hours colleagues have to put in – there are no more sleepless nights."
Clifford says: "Now that a lot of the manual work involved in the QA process is automated, our team has more time for other things. For example, developers can put their talent and expertise into user experience instead of finding and fixing errors."
Peace of mind
Investis has also been able to add to the peace of mind it gives its clients. Clifford says, "As well as making sure all web content is accurate as it goes live, we can monitor it on an ongoing basis to make sure no errors are introduced as the site is updated. Our clients like to know we invest in the best technology and that the sites we deliver are cutting-edge. They also want peace of mind that their sites won't degrade over time – and DQM is proof against that."
With its new, streamlined processes firmly in place, Investis is now keen to deliver to an even higher standard. Clifford says: "Our next aim is to ensure we have zero compliance errors across all sites. The top-level visibility we get through DQM will be vital in helping us monitor this goal."
"Our clients like to know we invest in the best technology and that the sites we deliver are cutting-edge. They also want peace of mind that their sites won't degrade over time – and DQM is proof against that."