Pearson Content Development Standard Operating Procedure

Enhancing Content Development Practices


Senior Content Developer (Project Lead)


Microsoft (Sharepoint, Visio, Excel, Teams), Agile Methodology


Training and Development - Content Team


June 26, 2023 - July 7, 2023 (2 weeks)


When the Training and Development team defined a 3-4 week timeline to migrate knowledge base content from one enrollment portal to another, it raised concerns due to the prolonged timeline. This prompted stakeholders to inquire about the rationale behind the duration and the potential impact on other projects and operational activities.

These concerns highlighted broader issues within our content development process. The existing operating procedure lacked standardization, failed to define timelines for deliverables, and required excessive time and effort, leading to decreased team productivity. These inefficiencies not only affected internal operations but also had implications for stakeholder communication. Delays in content delivery, inconsistency in quality, and difficulties in tracking progress became evident issues when reporting to stakeholders. Addressing these challenges became imperative to streamline operations and improve overall effectiveness, both internally and in our interactions with stakeholders.


This project highlighted four challenges.

Lack of Standardization

The absence of standardized procedures led to inconsistencies in content development approaches across different projects. The lack of clear guidelines can cause team members to struggle when maintaining uniformity in content creation, editing, and publication, contributing to confusion and inefficiencies.

Undefined Timelines and Accountability

The absence of defined timelines for content deliverables exacerbates the challenges of project management and accountability. Without clear deadlines, it becomes difficult to track progress and hold team members accountable for their tasks. This lack of accountability further compounds delays in content delivery and undermines the overall efficiency of the process.

Resource Drain

Inefficiencies in the existing process result in the unnecessary consumption of time and resources. Manual tasks, redundant processes, and unclear workflows contribute to a decrease in team productivity, further exacerbated by the lack of clear accountability measures. These inefficiencies not only impact the timely delivery of content but also strain team morale and hinder overall project success.

Stakeholder Communication Challenges

These operational inefficiencies not only affect internal team dynamics but also impede effective communication with stakeholders. Delays in content delivery, inconsistencies in quality, and difficulties in tracking progress undermine stakeholder confidence and satisfaction, potentially jeopardizing future collaborations.


How can we streamline the content development process to ensure consistency, efficiency, and productivity across all projects while also improving stakeholder communication and satisfaction?


The primary objective of this project is to address the identified challenges and optimize the content development process at Pearson, the following solutions will be implemented:

Standardization of Procedures

Timeline Definition and Accountability Measures

Process Optimization and Resource Utilization

Enhanced Stakeholder Communication Strategies

Continuous Improvement and Evaluation


As part of our efforts to implement the new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for content development at Pearson, we utilized the updated processes in creating 180 knowledge base articles for the new Enrollment Portal. This project served as a test case to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the new SOP in real-world applications. To do this, I defined the:

Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to defining the roles and responsibilities of the Content Lead, Content Developers, Content Reviewers, and Content Publishers, I also outlined the specific time commitment required from each team member to complete the project.

By clearly defining the expected time allocation for each role, team members were able to effectively manage their schedules and allocate their time accordingly. With this approach team members were better equipped to plan and prioritize their workloads, minimizing the risk of overburdening themselves or neglecting other responsibilities.

Table of roles and responsibilities for the Enrollment Portal knowledge base article project.
Table of roles and responsibilities for the Enrollment Portal knowledge base article project. Names blurred out for privacy.

Content Development Process

This process map served as a visual guide, breaking down the entire content development workflow into manageable stages, from initial ideation to final publication.

I walked team members through each step of the process, explaining key tasks, dependencies, and best practices to ensure a thorough understanding. By leveraging the process map as a training tool, team members gained clarity on their roles and responsibilities, empowering them to work more efficiently and effectively toward our project goals.

Content Development Process for the Enrollment Portal KBAs.
Content development process map.


The 6-day schedule was designed with flexibility in mind, allowing team members to work on this project without compromising other projects they are involved in.

This adaptable approach acknowledged the diverse workload of team members and accommodated their existing commitments by providing designated time slots for project-related tasks within the 6-day timeframe. 

Project schedule. Names blurred out for privacy.


A set of standardized instructions was customized specifically for this project and distributed to all team members. These instructions were designed to ensure consistency and uphold high-quality standards across all deliverables. 

By providing clear and comprehensive guidance, team members possessed the necessary tools and directives to effectively execute their tasks in alignment with project objectives. This facilitated a cohesive workflow, minimizing errors and discrepancies. Moreover, the comprehensive nature of the instructions left no room for ambiguity, enabling team members to navigate their tasks with confidence and efficiency.


In anticipation of potential setbacks, I conducted a risk assessment to identify and evaluate possible challenges. Defining the risks upfront allowed the project team to develop proactive mitigation strategies and contingency plans, which helped minimize the likelihood and severity of potential disruptions. 

By identifying and addressing these risks, the team was prepared to overcome obstacles and remain agile. 



All 180 knowledge base articles were created within the 6-day timeframe, showcasing the efficiency and productivity of the team. Despite the workload, adherence to the established schedule ensured that the project was completed on time, meeting the set deadlines.


This project prompted a reflective examination of our processes and teamwork dynamics. Through the project's success, it became evident that our investment in developing an SOP for content development was pivotal. The SOP streamlined our workflow, mitigated inefficiencies, and ensured consistency across our deliverables. This experience reinforced the value of:

This experience reinforced the value of structured processes, effective collaboration, clear communication, and adaptability, serving as a foundation for future successes in content development projects.


This project catalyzes continuous learning and improvement. It has provided valuable insights, identified areas for enhancement, and instilled a commitment to ongoing growth and development within the team, ensuring that we continue to deliver exceptional results in future projects.