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Strategies For Communicating The Value of Structured XML Authoring To Authors
 

Strategies For Communicating The Value of Structured XML Authoring To Authors

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Presented at DocTrain East 2007 Conference by Amanda Cross -- After you’re sold on the idea of structured writing and get the ball rolling at your company, you can hire consultants to calculate your ...

Presented at DocTrain East 2007 Conference by Amanda Cross -- After you’re sold on the idea of structured writing and get the ball rolling at your company, you can hire consultants to calculate your ROI and make a case to upper management. But after you’ve got the go-ahead from up top, you face a whole new challenge selling the idea to the writers who will actually have to do the work.

The emphasis behind arguments for moving to structured writing is on the bottom line: how much your company will save in translation and how much time your department will save in rewriting content. But as compelling as these benefits are to upper management, they’re equally abstract to the writers in the trenches. Money not spent to translate the same content multiple times does not go into the writer’s pocket, nor does the time saved on rewriting go to the writer’s vacation.

Even worse, not only does the writer not personally realize the benefits of the change, the writer can actually be threatened by the move to structured writing. It can look like the company is trying to automate their jobs or is looking for a reason to replace them.

However, the reality is that the content creator may actually be the biggest beneficiary of the move to structured writing. Your writers can be enthusiastic adopters of this methodology if you can demonstrate to them how it will make their job easier, their product more reliable, and their role more pivotal to the success of the company.

This session is for managers and department opinion-makers who are trying to sell structured writing with XML to content creators. You’ll explore strategies for including writers in the innovation process, learn how structured authoring reallocates writers’ time from mundane tasks to creative problem solving, and discover how a structured document is a document a writer can be proud of.

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    Strategies For Communicating The Value of Structured XML Authoring To Authors Strategies For Communicating The Value of Structured XML Authoring To Authors Presentation Transcript

    • Strategies For Communicating The Value of Structured XML Authoring To Authors
    • About Me
      • Writing the structured docs since 2001.
      • Designing the structured docs since 2004.
      • Implementing the structured docs since 2006.
    • So You Want to Go to Structure
      • You read up on the idea and visualize how it can work for your company.
      • You determine how much your company is going to save in translation costs.
      • You write a proposal and calculate the ROI to sell upper management.
      • You're ready to roll the plan out to the entire company.
    • So You Want to Go to Structure
        • But what about the writer?
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Include the writers in conversations of structure from the beginning
        • Call out places where structure would reduce pain when those situations present themselves
        • Call out places where saving time would provide opportunities for advancement
        • Foster an environment that is supportive of innovative ideas and cutting-edge technologies
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Consult someone who's done this before
        • Encourage team members to attend STC or other professional society meetings
        • Forward articles and links to blog entries
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Address their concerns
        • Losing autonomy
        • Losing creativity
        • Being reduced to “filling in blanks”
        • Learning new technologies
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Scare them with bigger concerns
        • Company's need to get more out of their documentation dollar
        • Company's inclination to outsource documentation
        • Need of the writer to keep themselves marketable
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Give back some of what is lost
        • Though case-by-case document treatment is no longer needed, someone still needs to design the structure
        • Though page-by-page formatting is no longer needed, someone still needs to design the stylesheets
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Play up the parts that will stay the same
        • Researching
        • Participating in development teams
        • Advocating for the user
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Play up the parts that will get better
        • Faster drafts
        • More complete reviews
        • Less annoying rewriting and opportunity for inconsistency
        • More predictable docs
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Play up their expanding role
        • Structure helps you form intelligent questions early in the design
        • Time saved from formatting can be used to take on new, influential responsibilities
        • A structured document can change the way a team approaches a project
    • Strategies for Convincing the Writer
      • Appeal to their sense of pride in their work
        • Predictable docs
        • Flexibility in providing information to users
        • Challenge in writing for multiple outputs
        • Using cutting-edge technology
    • Thank You
        • Amanda Cross
        • Structured Writing Evangelist
        • [email_address]