Kent Taylor, Acrolinx shared this with me this morning. Hopefully you find it useful.
A Quality Management System (ISO 9001, 6-Sigma, Kaizen, TQM, etc.) can have a big impact on quality, productivity, and cycle time in medium and large Writing Organizations. If you have never done a process audit, you will almost certainly be amazed at the amount of duplicative, and unnecessary activity that takes place in the overall content supply chain. You’ll also find bottlenecks and roadblocks that consume valuable cycle time.
The core tenets of all the Quality Management Systems are simple and straightforward:
Know and document your processes and quality standards.
Objectively measure and track in-process quality (Quality Assurance – real-time feedback to people as they do their job.)
Objectively measure and track quality at handoff points (Quality Control – independent metrics and reports)
Make and document changes to your process, and observe changes to quality, productivity, and cycle-time metrics. Formalize and deploy the changes that have positive impacts on your metrics.
Implementation of a Quality Management System takes some time and effort, but can result in on-going cost and time savings that you will be proud to show your management. And you will have metrics to show quality improvements as well!
The conventional measurement of quality reflects how well you conform to your own standards. In the tech writing world, standards generally consist of the dictionary (for spelling of common words), perhaps some terminology guidelines (for company- or domain-specific words and phrases), the accepted rules of grammar, and a company style guide.
Measuring conformance objectively and cost-effectively is the hard part. Identifying and tracking all of the misspellings, typos, grammar, and style issues manually is neither objective nor cost-effective, but there are tools that can help.
Spell checkers and grammar checkers can provide some help in terms of Quality Assurance, but require considerable manual effort to create Quality Control reports. And they are limited in terms of style and terminology checking. At the other end of the spectrum, you will find tools like the Acrolinx Content Quality Solution. This toolkit provides both Quality Assurance and aggregated Quality Control reports that identify and track all spelling and grammar issues, as well as deviations from your company’s style and terminology standards.
Bottom line: The application of proven quality management practices in your technical writing environment can significantly improve overall quality and consistency of your content, while providing cost and cycle-time reductions of projected 10% to 25% or more.
It’s with mixed emotions that I am announcing my departure from Adobe Systems, Inc. After 2 awesome years of working at Adobe, I’ve decided to move on to a new challenge. Beginning January 28th, I will take the role of Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Acrolinx. It is there that I hope to bring the same value and innovation that I provided to Adobe as Director of TechComm Business Development and Evangelism.
When Adobe approached me two years ago, I was delighted to join the team. These were the very same people I had known and worked with throughout the many years I was President of Integrated Technologies, Inc. As colleagues we’ve inevitably grown closer during my tenure, and I will certainly miss working with the Adobe TechComm Team on a daily basis. Together we’ve accomplished quite a bit in the world of technical communications over the last 2 years. I know that the Adobe TechComm team will have continued success in the years to come. There’s no doubt in my mind that Adobe’s Technical Communications division has an excellent future ahead of it; and that FrameMaker, RoboHelp and the Technical Communication Suite will continue to remain leaders in the world of technical writing and publishing. Moving forward, you should reach out to Saibal Bhattacharjee for any Adobe Tech Comm Evangelism questions and Ashish Cherian for any Adobe Tech Comm Business Development items. I do want everyone to also know that they can always reach out to me for advice and help.
Those of you that already know about and use Acrolinx will have no problem understanding why I’m undergoing this transition. Acrolinx provides content quality software that employs incredible technology that optimizes and enhances content in a multitude of languages. Their usage of linguistics tech provides users with both a better understanding of how to more effectively communicate internally within an organization, as well as with customers by way of analytics, metrics, and governance. These practices not only lead to better quality of content, but enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO), less waste of resources, and increased reuse of content.
After over two decades of experience with Adobe FrameMaker, Acrolinx’s deeply rooted focus on improved content matter and streamlined workflows immediately drew me to their product — and when I was offered the position, the technology and the opportunity were too good to pass up.
As SVP of Global Operations, my goal is to bring this technology to the forefront of the TechComm conversation and expand into exciting new markets. We already have quite a bit planned for the year ahead, and I can’t wait to get started. In a couple of weeks, Acrolinx and I will be at the Intelligent Content Conference in San Francisco. If you’re in the area, swing on in to check out our booth, catch some presentations and demos, or just chat. I look forward to it.
Many users have reported an issue with launching of FrameMaker 10*. Starting Jan 1 of this year, users saw a message “Licensing for this product has expired”. We have already isolated the cause of this issue and are now working aggressively to provide a solution to our users. That being said, we do realize that many of you are blocked on your daily work due to this issue. We sincerely apologize for this and completely understand the difficult situation you are in.
While we work on a solution, we want you to be able to continue doing your work and be productive. For this, I have posted more details and a workaround to this issue on my blog post here. This workaround will enable you to continue working with FM10 in the interim. I will be posting regular updates as and when they become available on this blog post. So, please do keep checking the blog post for more details. Our hope is to provide a complete solution within the next 24 hours.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
* Note that this issue affects only FrameMaker 10 users and not those users using other versions of the product
Sr. Product Manager – FrameMaker | FrameMaker Publishing Server