Our latest content operations study with 109 content professionals answers that question and much more. If you’re new to content operations, you can get an overview from this article. Understanding the current state of content operations starts with understanding our maturity model.

What Are the Levels of Content Operations Maturity?

Content Science developed a maturity model to represent different levels of content operations sophistication, as I explain extensively in The Content Advantage. Let’s walk through the levels briefly.

ChaoticNo formal content operations, only ad hoc approaches
PilotingTrying content operations in certain areas, such as for a blog
ScalingExpanding formal content operations across business functions
SustainingSolidifying and optimizing content operations across
business functions
ThrivingSustaining while also innovating and seeing return on investment

We asked content professionals around the world in a variety of industries and sectors to complete a brief survey about their content operations. We used the answers to identify their maturity level. We also asked a range of questions about their success with content and what exactly their content operations entail.

How Mature Are Most Organizations’ Content Operations?

Not very. This pie chart shows 46% of organizations are at levels 1 and 2, the earliest stages of content operations maturity. Compared to our 2017 update, more organizations are at these low levels.

So, if you feel your organization is struggling with content operations, you’re not alone. And you have an exciting opportunity to grow.

If you feel your organization is getting some things right about content operations, keep going because you’re cultivating a huge advantage over other organizations. And in the age of accelerated digital disruption, I cannot overstate the value of that advantage.

What Else Do We Know About Content Operations Now?

A lot! Even though the fact more organizations are immature is a step back, we also know much more about what makes content operations successful. So, if I had to sum up the current state of content operations, I’d say two steps forward and one step back. 

We share some of the top findings across elements like content roles and process, content vision, evaluating content effectiveness, and using content technology in this executive summary, What Makes Content Operations Successful?

Executive Summary: What Makes Content Operations Successful?

The full report—with more detailed findings, highlights from the impact of COVID, and more discussion of their implications—is available as premium content to paid Content Science Review subscribers.

We also updated the material in our Content Leadership and Operations certification over at Content Science Academy. And don’t miss our upcoming workshop Leading Content Teams and Operations, which will feature some of the detailed findings.

If you’re curious about your own organization’s maturity level, you can take this brief Content Operations Assessment to get immediate feedback and a PDF version of the latest executive summary report.

The Author

Colleen Jones is the author of The Content Advantage and founder of Content Science, an end-to-end content company that turns content insight into impact. She has advised or trained hundreds of leading brands and organizations as they close the content gap in their digital transformations. A passionate entrepreneur, Colleen has led Content Science to develop the content intelligence software ContentWRX, publish the online magazine Content Science Review, and offer online certifications through Content Science Academy.

Colleen has earned recognition as a top instructor on LinkedIn Learning, one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Content Marketing, a Content Change Agent by Society of Technical Communication’s Intercom Magazine, and one of the Top 50 Most Influential Content Strategists by multiple organizations.

Follow Colleen on Twitter at @leenjones or on LinkedIn.

Last Updated: May 26, 2021

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