Living Multiple Lives: The New Technical Communicator Noz Urbina Business Development Manager
Agenda <ul><li>The world today  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do more with less, faster and better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reus...
<ul><li>“ Customers are demanding more  concise   communication   on how to produce, service, maintain and use products th...
Customer Overview ~2000 Biz-to-Consumer Luxury Cars Automotive ~1000 Biz-to-Consumer Multifunction Nav for leisure boats  ...
Situation Overview 8 Y Y Y Auto 10 Y Y Y Consumer Elec 5 Y Y Y Y Software 4 Y Y Y Y Y Medical 4 Y Y Y Y Y High Tech 0 Y Y ...
Everyone duplicates content… <ul><li>Product to related product </li></ul><ul><li>Product to derivative product </li></ul>...
Duplication in a Product’s LifeCycle Errors get reused downstream.  Corrections  don’t  flow back upstream…
Duplication Across Products Extensive  Reuse Product Specific Multiple Live Versions Errors get reused across products.  R...
Document Overload Customer-specific…
Common findings <ul><li>Often many more “customers” than management comprehends </li></ul><ul><li>Most teams don’t have or...
What does it all mean? How do I deal with it?
Aberdeen Research
Technical Communicators <ul><li>“ Those that were once called authors are now called  technical   communicators ,  creatin...
Becoming a “Communicator” <ul><li>Handle overload by bridging the knowledge gap between teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey...
Survey Content Consumers Example
 
 
 
 
 
 
Establishing a Strategy
Early Decisions <ul><ul><li>Needs first, tools last </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop use cases to determine if XML is th...
DITA Process Model - Courtesy of IBM Goal- Oriented Business Scenario - Michael Priestley, Lead DITA Architect, IBM Topics...
Think: “What’s in it for  them? ” <ul><li>To Finance and R&D:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically, Engineers spend 15-30% of ...
<ul><li>Europe’s Largest XML event </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CCMS – DITA - S1000D  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2008 - Delivering on...
Thank you! [email_address]
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Living Multiple Lives: The New Technical Communicator

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Presented by Noz Urbina at Documentation and Training West, May 6-9, 2008 in Vancouver, BC

This presentation is for team leaders, information managers, tech communicators and product managers who care about maximizing efficiency and return on investment in the information-heavy parts of their product cycle.

We will discuss current developments in the field of Technical Communications and how the role of the Technical Communicator has been rapidly and fundamentally evolving. The world is becoming more and more tech-savvy by the picosecond. More savvy means more demanding, and an organization’s ability to balance internal and external management of supporting technical information while delivering quality technical communication products has gone from being a burdensome nuisance, to a central and strategic must for market competitiveness.

This presentation takes a low-tech, cross-industry look at why strategies are changing and how organizations are adapting to these challenges. Best practices for approach, organizing teams, planning for change, DITA/XML, and departmental integration will all be addressed.

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  • Living Multiple Lives: The New Technical Communicator

    1. 1. Living Multiple Lives: The New Technical Communicator Noz Urbina Business Development Manager
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>The world today </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do more with less, faster and better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reuse, reuse, reuse! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Methodologies for change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational and process review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Componentisation / DITA / XML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CCMS </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>“ Customers are demanding more concise communication on how to produce, service, maintain and use products that are only increasing in complexity . </li></ul><ul><li>Despite this fact, executives are shortening schedules and tightening budgets.” </li></ul>The Market Today - Aberdeen Research
    4. 4. Customer Overview ~2000 Biz-to-Consumer Luxury Cars Automotive ~1000 Biz-to-Consumer Multifunction Nav for leisure boats Consumer Electronics ~300 Biz-to-Biz/Biz-to-Consumer Corporate and Security hw / sw Software ~3000 Biz-to-Biz Medical equipment and software Medical ~2000 Biz-to-Biz Modular precision control drive units High Tech Manufacturing ~55000 Biz-to-Biz Microchips for various markets applications Microelectronic2 ~200 Biz-to-Biz Microchips for Biz-to-Consumer market Microelectronic1 ~? Biz-to-Biz Custom fit aerospace and defense equipment Aero/Defense Staff Model Products Example
    5. 5. Situation Overview 8 Y Y Y Auto 10 Y Y Y Consumer Elec 5 Y Y Y Y Software 4 Y Y Y Y Y Medical 4 Y Y Y Y Y High Tech 0 Y Y Y Y Micro2 0 Y Y Y Y Micro1 0 Y A+D Langs Variants by Market Variants by Apps/ Platform HW / SW Configs Supply Chain Needs Customer
    6. 6. Everyone duplicates content… <ul><li>Product to related product </li></ul><ul><li>Product to derivative product </li></ul><ul><li>Across all products (global legal and boilerplate texts, images) </li></ul><ul><li>Across product lifecycle and document types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design Specs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing Specs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Across formats: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print / web / other </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple live versions of the same content </li></ul>
    7. 7. Duplication in a Product’s LifeCycle Errors get reused downstream. Corrections don’t flow back upstream…
    8. 8. Duplication Across Products Extensive Reuse Product Specific Multiple Live Versions Errors get reused across products. Related products don’t get updated… especially across templates Reused content should sometimes be different versions. We need to know what’s applicable where Customer Specific Customer 1 Customer 2 Every problem described here is multiplied again in customer-specific documents Censored Censored Censored 1.0 1.1 1.2
    9. 9. Document Overload Customer-specific…
    10. 10. Common findings <ul><li>Often many more “customers” than management comprehends </li></ul><ul><li>Most teams don’t have or don’t take time to assess what their audience really wants – internally and externally </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse of development-time assets is funded and supported </li></ul><ul><li>Information access and collaboration with people can be as, or more important than, creation or publishing </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with their workflows is key </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Reuse (modularisation) isn’t easy </li></ul>
    11. 11. What does it all mean? How do I deal with it?
    12. 12. Aberdeen Research
    13. 13. Technical Communicators <ul><li>“ Those that were once called authors are now called technical communicators , creating an entirely new profession .“ </li></ul>- Aberdeen Research
    14. 14. Becoming a “Communicator” <ul><li>Handle overload by bridging the knowledge gap between teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey your different content consumers – profile their needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-build your workflows for new work-sharing methods (especially for modular content) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Break out of the “manual” box </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey the new game-changing technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Develop and design instructional and informational tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Combine multimedia knowledge and strong communication skills with technical expertise to educate entire spectrum across the of users’ abilities” (Aberdeen) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WIKIs, Blogs, Forums, Bi-Directional Publishing Workflows, Code Comment Extraction, Agile Project Methodologies, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Establish a business-driven strategy </li></ul>
    15. 15. Survey Content Consumers Example
    16. 22. Establishing a Strategy
    17. 23. Early Decisions <ul><ul><li>Needs first, tools last </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop use cases to determine if XML is the right answer for you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reuse of data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specialized outputs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Device independence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paradigm shift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid migrating your old problems to XML </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity to streamline processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[slide by Jody Bookless, Annette Marx, Scott Davis, AutoDESK] </li></ul></ul>
    18. 24. DITA Process Model - Courtesy of IBM Goal- Oriented Business Scenario - Michael Priestley, Lead DITA Architect, IBM Topics Build Maps Outputs Eclipse Help Java Help HTML Help Web pages Books & PDFs Learning Write Content Define ALL Topics Build Documents Multi-channel Publish
    19. 25. Think: “What’s in it for them? ” <ul><li>To Finance and R&D: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically, Engineers spend 15-30% of time on: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Req Docs, Specifications, Design Docs, and so on… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If 100 Engineers cost 40k each, ~600k is spent on Engineering-internal Docs / (15% of 4 million) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Saving 20% off develop-time docs would save 120k / year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Localisation costs are a huge problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>XML alone often reduces costs by 15-30%, and well over 50% can be achieved when combined with reuse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To Tech Docs, Training, and Engineering Management: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search, reuse, automation and collaboration are all Engineering goals too </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With a shared platform and process, you could accelerate product time-to-market and quality of service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To Tech Docs, Training, and Engineering Management: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineers don’t want to spend time on documents. Use this as ammunition. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More computer-aided reuse means less nagging and conference calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry figures show 30-50% savings in Docs is not unusual, meaning 6 authors can usually justify 100K solution </li></ul></ul>
    20. 26. <ul><li>Europe’s Largest XML event </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CCMS – DITA - S1000D </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2008 - Delivering on the XML Promise: Customer-Centric Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How does it all affect the customer ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free workshops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Architecture and Taxonomy (Mekon / Rockley Group) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S1000D (PTC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adobe Technical Communications Tools (Adobe) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building Dynamic Publications (EMC x-hive) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tracks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manufacturing and Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aerospace Defence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DITA and IA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gov and Professional Pubs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Speakers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>JoAnn Hackos, ComTech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John Hunt, IBM/DITA Learning and Training Chair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charles Cooper, Rockley Group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chris Wood, BAE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Denny Raitz, Boeing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amber Swope, JustSystems, DITA Technical Committee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>many more… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SAP/Business Objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cambridge Silicon Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qimonda AG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Salesforce.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UK National Archives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boeing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more… </li></ul></ul>www.x-pubs.com www.x-pubs.com
    21. 27. Thank you! [email_address]

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