It is amazing how often the content equation is underestimated or misunderstood whether building new properties or renewing existing sites.
The essence of any web project is the content or message to be conveyed. Understandably organizations will engage terrific creative agencies that will put tremendous effort into strategy and design. Unfortunately this often has the unintended effect of de-emphasizing existing content that may, or may not, need to be migrated to your new project. A thorough content audit early on in your planning process will help streamline your project and your budget.
Rarely is content brought over to a project wholesale without some important changes. This can be obvious like making PDF content more search engine friendly or less obvious like adding or changing metadata and reforming its underlying data structure. An audit will help determine if content migration should be included in your web development scope or handled as a separate component.
But unlike planning for strategy and design, resources are often scarce when it comes to content planning and conducting a content audit. It is likely the content planning process will be reduced to task level milestones and allocated to support staff or subject matter experts with little accommodation for the importance, difficulty or breadth of the requirements. This can lead to unforeseen and unwanted surprises during the development and user acceptance cycles of your project.
Here are a few quick resources to get you started understanding the content planning process is Drupal.
A topic central strategy from a blog post that has only gotten more important: Understanding Content Planning: Why Taxonomy is Your New Best Friend
A great book from an accomplished Drupalist that will answer a lot of basic questions around content planning: The Drupal User's Guide by Emma Jane Hogbin Westby.
And a new series of articles about distributed content management by our very own Hank VanZile Director of Pre Sales Consulting starting with 'What is Distributed Content Management'