Snakes & Ladders: Content Collaboration in the real world

Presentation Abstract

This session will explore the use of the game Snakes & Ladders as a way to lay out content project road maps. Different than, and a useful precursor to, making a project plan, you can use a Snakes & Ladders game board to map out the possible project risks (Snakes) and potential avoidance and mitigation measures (Ladders). Using a game model, this high-level planning activity can be kept light, fast-moving, and even a little bit of fun. During the workshop, participants will collaborate on identifying common risks and practical response tactics, and each time the workshop is run the knowledge base about Snakes and Ladders will expand. The more people who contribute ideas the more useful the game will become – embodying a broader and broader sampling of project experiences. The originators of the Snakes and Ladders Game as a way to lay out content project road maps, Nolwenn Kerzreho and Joe Gollner, are both highly experienced practitioners and the initial base of game building blocks (Snakes and Ladders) embodies many of their experiences. Either during the workshop or after it, participants will be able to draw upon the building blocks to build their own game board and to play it.

What can attendees expect to learn?

Attendees will take a number of things away from this workshop. Firstly, they will learn about a number of critically important project risks that colleagues have encountered, and hopefully survived, over years of collective experience in managing content modernization initiatives. Secondly, they will learn about many of the best practices that colleagues have developed to address these common risks. And finally, attendees will become familiar with the idea of using a game board to facilitate high level project planning and for using this technique to engage an expanded array of project stakeholders.

Meet the Presenters

Nolwenn Kerzreho

Nolwenn Kerzreho leads the technical communication specialization in the European Master’s in Translation program at the Training Center for Translators-localizers, Terminologists and Technical writers (CFTTR) at the Université Rennes 2 in Brittany, France. She has been immersed in the business of communication for over 10 years and has, as both a trainer and an information architect, led a number of DITA adoption efforts. As an international speaker and tireless researcher, she explores the latest trends and techniques in structured authoring and how these changes will impact the next generation of technical writers and business communicators. Nolwenn works with customers around the world in clarifying their requirements and making the most out of DITA and component content management solutions.

JoeGollnerJoe Gollner is the Director of Gnostyx Research Inc. ( where he leads an interdisciplinary team in providing lean content solutions to organizations around the world. He has been active in the content management industry for over twenty-five years. A former artillery officer in the Canadian Army, he is a graduate of Queens University (Mathematics and Literature) and the University of Oxford (Masters of Philosophy). He blogs as the Content Philosopher ( and is still working on a book about ʺEngineering Contentʺ. In 2014, he received the Matthew Arnold faculty award from the University of Oxford for recent contributions made to the field of Digital Humanities.

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