Content Portfolio Advisory Group


Role and Responsibil​​ities

Backgrou​nd

There are more opportunities to respond to member/customer needs, wants, and expectations than there are resources to meet those expectations.  Given the need for resources, AIHA should not directly duplicate the services of other organizations.  Focus is important. Providing mediocre or low-quality programs in many areas is inferior to providing higher quality programs in response to a set of focused interests.

Purpose

The Content Portfolio Advisory Group (CPAG) provides input and advice to the AIHA board and staff regarding the association’s body of content on industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety. Content may include documents, articles, white papers, fact sheets, professional development courses (PDCs), conference programs, etc. CPAG has three primary roles:

1. Provides guidance on the content development agenda for AIHA, including:

  • Reviewing proposals for new cont​ent development initiatives

  • Providing recommendations on funding requests for new content development
  • Suggesting topics for the AIHA Guid​eline Foundation’s research agenda

2. Oversees review of existing content and makes product lifecycle recommendations

3. Monitors the industry landscape to identify emerging topics for which new content may be needed

Structu​re

CPAG is comprised of six members representing a cross-section of the AIHA membership. Each member serves a three-year term. Terms are staggered so that two members rotate off and are replaced with two new members each year. Terms commence and end at the CPAG meeting at AIHce. The CPAG Chair selects a Vice Chair from among those committee members entering their second year of service. The Vice Chair becomes the Chair in their third year. A liaison from the AIHA board also participates in CPAG meetings but is not an official member of the group.

Selection and Qualifications

The process of selecting new CPAG members begins with an open call for applications to the AIHA membership. Applications are reviewed and selections made by the AIHA Executive Committee with guidance from the CPAG chair and AIHA staff. Selections are made to ensure that the committee maintains as broad a diversity of representation as is reasonably possible. 

Committee members must be current and active members of AIHA and are selected to provide a balanced representation of:

  • Industry se​ctors

  • Mid and late-career professionals
  • Involvement in various AIHA volunteer groups
  • Areas of professional practice and specialty

Committee members should:

  • Demonstrate solid gen​eral leadership skills and the ability to be thoughtful, deliberative, and decisive

  • Work collaboratively in a group setting
  • Professionally handle differences of opinion with peers
  • Speak “as with one voice,” supporting decisions once made 
  • Represent the profession as whole and not just one practice area or specialty 
  • Think both long term and strategically as well as short-term and tactically
  • Review applications in a fair, consistent, defensible, and transparent manner
  • Allow for, and define, adequate (not too long, not too short) time for analysis and decisions
  • Exercise sound business jud​gment when making decisions. Consider needs of target audience, pricing, marketing/promotion, content, education mode (e.g., in-person vs online).

Remember, anecdotal member interest, Board member beliefs, and volunteer passion SHOULD NOT be the main drivers for product salvation or development.

Responsi​bilities

CPAG members are expected to attend one in-person Planning Workshop (for which AIHA will cover the cost) and AIHce (for which CPAG members will cover their own costs), as well as participate in periodic conference calls throughout the year.   

Guiding Principles

  • Communication. How we​ communicate the process, and its evolution, to volunteers, staff, AIHA Board and members repeatedly and ongoing is critical to success of the initiative. 

  • Commitment to transparency. We agree to manage in-person communications via phone calls, not emails (so a conversation can occur) by MD, STI to the volunteer/subject matter expert champions of results of proposal review.  The first moment of truth may occur when a new-product proposal receives a no-go/RED light decision. Does the volunteer/SME champion understand and respect the metrics that were used to evaluate potential success? Does he or she feel heard and respected along the way? What does he or she say to other volunteers/SMEs/staff members about the CPAG process? Careful treatment of volunteer/SME champion will have a big impact on the acceptance of this process.
  • No money/no mission.  CPAG needs to pay attention to the investment and make conscious decisions regarding developing a product that does not generate revenue or may not generate a profit. AIHA’s biggest competitor is the internet and the belief that all the information anyone needs can be found in a few clicks, usually at no cost.  AIHA needs to offer quality, exceptional products.  AIHA cannot afford to produce mediocre, unpopular, irrelevant products that drain resources.
  • Multiple Constituents.  AIHA serves multiple constituents – members, volunteers, vendors, advertisers, other customers.  Products are anything AIHA creates and distributes free or for a fee.  AIHA products do not include PDCs (AIHA does not own the content and hence they are not subject to CPAG review) as new or legacy products.  AIHA products do include AIHce on-demand and archived webinars; hence these are subject to CPAG review as legacy products.
  • Board Role and Transparency.  The AIHA Board should be regularly updated on CPAG progress and informed of product go/no go decisions and rationale behind them but not get involved at micro-level.  The Board should not ignore/counter the decisions of the CPAG at final stage, but Directors should be encouraged to get involved early on if they have a passion for or expertise in the subject matter.  The Board will have access to monthly CPAG updates/tracking reports to encourage and foster engagement and ensure cross-discipline communication.  New products must have CEO support before being brought to the Board for final approval.


Role #1: New Project Ideas: Evaluation Process 

CPAG is tasked with serving as the arbiter of new project ideas that are recommended by volunteer groups, working groups, and other member committees.

  • Stage 1 Submittal. The individual or group submittal (with assigned designated “champion” will complete an on-line form that includes clear, concise explanations of​ requested fields.  This process will be communicated to the broader AIHA community regularly and repeatedly to ensure transparency of process.

  • AIHA Staff Point-of-Contact.  A designated staff member will interface with the volunteer/SME champion regarding a potential project proposal.  This person will have the authority and knowledge to assign an appropriate staff person, if needed, to work with the volunteer/SME champion to develop/guide the initial proposal.  This process will be completed within 5 business days of the initial posting to the portal by the volunteer/SME champion.  The goal is to instill a sense of shared ownership of the proposed product.
  • Stage 1 Review.  CPAG strives for a turn-around time of 1 month or less for Stage 1 Review, with opportunity for discussion at one CPAG monthly conference call/meeting.  CPAG decides, given what they know AT THAT TIME and what is provided in the project proposal, to move the product forward or stop it.  If CPAG gives green light at Stage 1, proposal is returned to staff and volunteer/SME champion for Stage 2 work -- further development of budget and timeline.
  • Stage 2 Submittal and Review.  The individual then completes a second on-line form and submits to CPAG, which strives for a turn-around time of 1 month or less.  
  • AIHA Board Review/Approval.  Final approval rests with the Board. It is envisioned that this step will be completed quickly given the role of CPAG.  NOTE: Contingent on funding requirements, the submitter may need to wait until monies are approved before initiating work and depending on where the organization is on its budget cycle.
  • Product Proposal Tracking Portal.   An online tracking tool will be developed for submittals and to record submittals and CPAG review dates and scoring outcomes.  The potential project, milestones/gates and outcomes/progress will be recorded and viewable on the product proposal tracking portal, so that staff, CPAG and the Board are aware of pending projects and their progress.  This tracking document/portal will be made available behind the member firewall on the CPAG SharePoint web page.
  • Process improvement/feedback loop.  There will be a mechanism in place to capture and respond to process concerns and help submitters and reviewers to navigate the system. Over time, staff will survey submitters to assess efficacy of the system and develop an FAQ document to capture questions and concerns learned during the process. 


Role #2: Existing Materials: Portfolio Analysis 

CPAG is also tasked with reviewing and re-balancing the portfolio of AIHA products. Like a financial portfolio, AIHA’s product portfolio should be reviewed and balanced over time. 

Some products will be free, some will be at the higher end of the price scale. Some should be for early-career professionals, others for seasoned veterans. To identify the gaps and overlaps, all products need to be organized. The assumption is that all the needed data is not already collected and in one place and it will take some time to do so, but the portfolio analysis can begin with what can be collected.

  • How many products does AIHA​ have?

  • Who is the primary target audience for each product?  Secondary target audiences(s)?
  • Which are the highest performers financially?
  • Which are the weakest performers?
  • Which are the most popular?
  • What percentage of the products are more than five years old?
  • Why is AIHA offering products that almost no one is buying?  Is there a regulatory, political or social driver for a particular product that needs to be considered?
  • Does AIHA need so many products on one subject?
  • Are there clear gaps in products for certain target audiences or technical focus areas?

AIHA has accumulated too much stuff that is outdated or no longer (or never was) popular.  CPAG is to answer the question: “What is the right stuff for AIHA?”  Getting rid of the “junk”/pruning legacy products will make it easier to find the valuable products and make room for new/winning products.

There is a need to review the existing product portfolio, then develop parameters for optimal portfolio mix (topic and format).  The initial product review is not intended to result in an optimal portfolio mix, but should give a clear picture of the current portfolio mix and initiate progress towards that optimal portfolio.  CPAG will need to complete the review of the existing portfolio, based on available data and initial criteria, and then evaluate the portfolio mix and work to optimize the portfolio:  the right balance of offerings with overall positive cash flow that meets/exceeds revenue expectations.

  • Products are anything AIHA cre​ates and distributes free or for a fee.  Products do not include PDCs but do include AIHce on-demand, archived webinars, and website content.

  • No money/no mission:  need to pay attention to the $$; make conscious decisions to keep a product that does not generate revenue or may not generate a profit; balance “freebies” with those that make money.
  • Financial analysis is not ever the sole parameter for determining the fate of an existing product, as that may miss the original need/intent of the product.

The first moment of truth may occur when an existing product receives a “kill” decision. Does the creator understand and respect the metrics that were used to evaluate the product? What does he or she say to other volunteers/SMEs/staff members about the CPAG process? Careful treatment of creators will have a big impact on the acceptance of this process.

For later consideration when developing parameters to better ensure a balanced portfolio, CPAG will need to solicit proposals for new products to fill identified portfolio gaps.  One key component will be the ability to differentiate between customers’ stated preferences and real purchase behavior.  This might be aided by:

  • Identifying (via surveys​) how customers value combinations of different products

  • Using discrete choice analysis (aka forced pair comparison from Value Strategy) to rank products and services
  • Having customers rank/cluster product attributes (e.g., assigning an attribute to a price category)
  • Data mining of purchase/sales/access histories for trends related to product attributes (e.g., ​price, delivery format, length, availability of multiple products/formats for same technical area/topic, timing).  Consider using a data mining tool/algorithm to ID/extract previously unknown information/correlations.


Existing Materials: Evaluation Process 

  • Volunteer Group / Working Group (VG/WG) Stage 1 Review. Staff sets a schedule for and lea​ds a systematic review of existing materials.  VGs/WGs evaluate existing materials using established criteria. Target turn-around time for initial review is one (1) month or less.  

  • VG/WG Stage 1 Review: Assess document and recommend one of the following:

1. Retain document as is 

2. Edit and republish with updates (VG/WG should summarize areas that need to be updated.  NOTE: Actual edits may take longer than one (1) month to complete.  Strive to complete within three (3) month timeframe.

3. Sunset the document and archive

  • Stage 1 Submittal and Review:​ Staff leads process and presents recommendation to CPAG Chair, who in tandem with staff assigns responsibility to CPAG member(s). Complete within one (1) month of submittal.  For documents either unchanged or to be sunset, VG/WG review process ends until next review date.

  • VG/WG Stage 2 Review.  For documents requiring an update and based on CPAG approval of Stage 1 edits, VG/WG updates document (target within three (3) month timeframe).  
  • Stage 2 Submittal and Review:

1. Staff Review​ of Edited Documents.  Prior to submittal to CPAG, managing director, STI (and director, government relations if necessary) review edited documents and provide input to CPAG.

2. CPAG Review.  Staff le​ads process and presents recommendation to CPAG Chair, who in tandem with staff assigns responsibility to CPAG member(s). Complete within one (1) month of submittal.  

  • Product Proposal Tracking Portal.   An online tracking tool will be developed for submittals and to record submittals and CPAG review dates and scoring outcome​​s.  The potential project, milestones/gates and outcomes/progress will be recorded and viewable on the product proposal tracking portal, so that staff, CPAG and the Board are aware of pending projects and their progress.  This tracking document/portal will be made available behind the member firewall on the CPAG SharePoint web page.

  • Process improvement/feedback loop.  There will be a mechanism in place to capture and respond to process concerns and help submitters and reviewers to navigate the system. Over time, staff will survey submitters to assess efficacy of the system and develop an FAQ document to capture questions and concerns learned during the process. 


Role #3:  Environmental Scanning of New Id​eas

Each quarter, CPAG should dedicate time to discussing what projects are envisioned and should be considered that align with AIHA Emerging Priorities.  If ideas are suggested, they should be discussed with relevant VG/WG. These ideas may take the form of new project submittal requests for the following calendar year (or current year if there is bandwidth and no substantial costs are involved).

When these projects are executed, they undergo the same review process as above.


AIHA Board’s ​Role

Given CPAG’s role, the AIHA Board should rely on its recommendation, including that of key staff. This should expedite the final review/approval process.  In addition, at each Board meeting, a CPAG update report should be provided as a standing agenda item.​​