In the couple of decades that I have been involved in the Technical Communication industry, there has been a very interesting migration of processes and workflows.
At first, simply creating our content in a word processor was a huge productivity enhancer. This was a case of collecting the “low hanging fruit of productivity”, but it caused its own issues. We evolved further by creating our content in standardized templates in a desktop publishing system. This approach gave us a standard look and feel across our documentation set. Some enterprises started to manage their unstructured content in Content Management Systems, while others were happy to put in place a simple revision control mechanism.
Some large enterprises started to create structure content in SGML format, while others were happy to perfect the automated book paradigm. Paper output was the normal, but soon PDF became the online format of choice. SGML was too complex for most non-Government entities. XML soon came on the scene. Managing and publishing this XML Content with more sophisticated Content Management Systems became the trend.
Lately consumers have adopted and adapted to a mobile content interactive experience using their new tablets and smart phones. Single sourcing content to these multiple devices in an automated fashion is the current “holy grail”, but which approach is best? The choices are very interesting.
The current question that is begging to be asked is, so what is next?
I hope you come to TCWorld India 2013, Bangalore February 21st and 22nd. We can talk more about what you think the future of TechComm will bring.
I will be HOSTING this one!
Monday, November 19, 2012 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific
When managers develop business cases to support a move to the OASIS DITA Standard, they must estimate a Return on Investment (ROI). Decision-makers require that the investment required in tools, training, and process change be recouped within a reasonably short time span, often one to two years, at least for the cost of tools acquisition and implementation. Business cases often include predictions of decreased costs for translation and increased productivity from reductions in formatting activities and the direct reuse of standard content rather than through duplication or cut-and-paste. After implementation, managers are charged with comparing their predictions to the actual cost reductions to prove that they have achieved their goals and to predict future savings.
Dr. JoAnn Hackos reports on the results of the 2012 CIDM (Center for Information-Development Management) business survey. The survey asks manager what predictions they included in their business cases for DITA adoption, whether those predictions were accurate, and whether they have continued to experience reduced costs and increased productivity. The results of the 2012 survey are compared with the results of the 2010 survey. Dr. Hackos presents several case studies that provide examples of cost reduction and productivity increases experienced by CIDM members.
Dr. JoAnn Hackos, is the President of Comtech Services, Inc. and the Director of The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM).
Here is the latest blog post describing one of the exciting new features in FrameMaker 11 called Smart Insert. We hope that this will make your job of working with elements, paragraph/character catalogs much easier and make you more productive!
Read on for more details http://blogs.adobe.com/techcomm/2012/11/smart-insert-in-fm11.html
CIDM is sponsoring an important new survey to update the results we wrote about when we last ran this survey in 2010. So–be certain to participate in the 2012 survey of the success and failures of your content management initiative. To read about the 2010 results, see the Best Practices article at http://www.infomanagementcenter.com/members/pdfs/reprints/BP2010-04JHackos.pdf
This survey ends November 12, so be certain to respond as soon as possible. To complete the survey, go to Survey Monkey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/69JZ78N
Greetings from Adobe! Here is post # 3 from Maxwell Hoffman in the unstructured authoring series. This post focuses on increased productivity tools like smart insert of styles with in-place display of catalog choices, enhanced Find/Change and the benefits of automatic line numbering. You may find the blog post at:
Enjoy and help us spread the word!