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Published on October 26th, 2011 | by Rahel Bailie


Getting ROI by Using Lean in Content Production

A couple of weeks ago, I was at UserFocus in Washington, DC, and a poster caught my eye: Karla Turcios discussing a Lean UX Style Guide for a project with the Nature Conservatory.

Lean UX Style Guide

It was interesting to me to see how Lean has made it into this area because at first glance, Lean is all about production line efficiencies, and here it’s being applied to a discipline that is far from production line, and couldn’t be effective without a certain amount of creativity. And creativity is hard to streamline in terms of “reducing waste.”

The idea of applying Lean principles to a service environment isn’t new, however. In 2004, Lean was just starting to be adapted to areas beyond manufacturing. I worked on a project where we applied Lean principles to the production of content, where the savings were great and the ROI was stunning (though as Scott Abel always warns: your mileage may vary).

My client and I turned our success story into a presentation. As the question of ROI comes up continuously, I thought I’d post the presentation to show how a rigorous examination of even a small area of content production can yield significant results.

How Far to Lean (goes to or view below:


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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,

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