You Don't Have to Build Software to Do DITA

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This is a success story. Medtronic ENT deployed a brand-new DITA solution, employing all the traditional strategies and best practices for DITA such as specializing only where absolutely necessary and adopting minimalist approach to topic-based authoring. As a global organization, they had a lot of resources to draw upon when architecting their design.

In addition to all the standard reasons and benefits that DITA brings, they had two specific goals. First, they wanted to take control of content that had a complex organizational responsibility and ownership matrix. Several content components which have multiple uses in both customer documentation and federal filing; and, the authoring and ownership of this content belongs to different organizations in the enterprise at different times during the product lifecycle.

Second, they wanted to avoid customization wherever possible. Other divisions hadn’t managed to avoid building software tools or doing heavy customizations. Rather than developing extensive customizations to their content management system or to the tools that join different organizations and parts of the process, they applied methodologies from the disciplines of library science, change management, and process management. This approach not only had significant cost savings at implementation time, but it secured their system against lengthy and complicated upgrade cycles going forward as well.

In this presentation, they'll describe the content management system that provided mechanisms out-of-the box to apply methodologies from these disciplines bodies of work to rigidly control their content and provide guarantees that met the stringent regulations that govern medical device companies like theirs.

Co-Presenter: Kristen Cokeley, Medtronic ENT, leads the Technical Publications group and has been one of the primary architects of their new DITA-based publishing system.

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You Don't Have to Build Software to Do DITA

  1. 1. You Don’t H a v e to Build Softw are to Do DITA Kristen Cok e ley, Medtro nic Surgical Technologie Liz Fraley, S s ingle-Sourc ing Solution s, Inc.
  2. 2. We have ALL of this content. Who owns it? When can I change or reuse it? Who is looking for it? PHASE I – IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM
  3. 3. Content Input; Content Kings
  4. 4. State of the Content • Many Content Kings lead to overloaded, redundant, non-localized content • Wordy, high-level documents • Multiple areas of reusability, however, Content Kings want it “their way”. • High translation costs • Extended manual production turnaround time • Working in Adobe InDesign, as individual manuals • Different look and format depending on who and when content was created. NO STANDARD
  5. 5. No Standard • Little Corporate directive on styles and standards • No Sector directive on styles and standards • Using on FDA Guidance document as basis for creating manuals. • Unending input from Content Kings due to paper change method and no standards.
  6. 6. Lots of Variety with Lots of Reasons
  7. 7. Are you kidding me?
  8. 8. Pieces of the Puzzle • • • • • Currently deploy Windchill for CAD management. Have onsite Windchill administrator Contact PTC to implement Arbortext – HALT! You want how much money to do this, say what? Fate introduces us to Liz & Single-Sourcing Solutions – PROCEED! • PTC Licensing package – PROCEED! • Willing to implement and own the product within Medtronic – PROCEED!
  9. 9. The Power of Apprenticeship • • • When you’re an apprentice, you are never left out on your own. • Mentors are true partners who are committed to their student’s success. Mentors create opportunities for skill growth. Mentor’s adapt learning paths so it changes in response to the student’s goals, deadlines, deliverables, skills, growth, and events, etc. And when you need help, your mentor is there for you.
  10. 10. We owned the project We invested in ourselves. We could ask questions, increase our understanding, learn skills that benefit us over the long term. We cut our teeth on content we were experts in (ours). S3I guided our effort and taught us how to do what they do.
  11. 11. How do I implement a solution out of the box? PHASE II – SOLVING THE PROBLEM
  12. 12. Applied standard • Willing to implement a DITA standard with little customization due to No Standard directives. • Willing to look outside of the box for an inside the box tool. o Other divisions were not using CMS systems effectively or, had created from scratch, their own CMS system. • Willing to be model students for “how it’s supposed to work” • Willing to follow best practices and make cooperative readjustments to existing processes
  13. 13. Didn’t reinvent the wheel… • Applied best practices from other disciplines… • Library Science – to improve content retrieval Retained methodology of library science to categorize and define our content and related metadata. o Process for defining metadata. o How metadata is used to simplify ownership of our content. o • Change Management – to re-engineer processes o Used internal change tools and processes to deploy new content approval process.
  14. 14. Self-Governed Maintenance • Wanted to be able to perform maintenance on our own and not at the hand of a contract. • Benefits o o Reduced cost of implementation. Reduced cost of maintenance going forward.
  15. 15. Implementation Savings With Contracted Implementation With Guided Implementation • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Software Cost: $55K Training Cost: $10k Consulting/System Config. Cost: $110k Translation Library: $70k Installation/Validation: $8k Hardware (server): $5k Total: $260k Software Cost: $5K* Training Cost: $1k Consulting/System Config. Cost: $42k Translation Library: $TBD Installation/Validation: $0 Hardware (server): $5k Total: $53k * Determined that we could obtain a corporate one time purchase.
  16. 16. Willing to Change • We possessed an understanding that we had to be willing to adapt to change and champion process change. • Understanding that not only the strict guidelines of the FDA, but also EU regulations needed to be satisfied with all output. • Willing to create a culture change.
  17. 17. What About the Content Kings? • Still there. Just confined to what is their domain. • Smaller battles for real estate. • Now true content kings as opposed to document dictators.
  18. 18. Questions? …need a mentor? • Kristen Cokeley Technical Communications Supervisor Medtronic Surgical Technologies kristen.cokeley@medtronic.com • Liz Fraley Mentor & CEO Single-Sourcing Solutions, Inc. liz.fraley@single-sourcing.com 408-660-3219
  19. 19. Our approach is to provide just the right amount of assistance to take new Arbortext customers from purchase to production. Who we are o o o o o Single-Sourcing Solutions was founded in 2005 The only 100% licensed distributor of PTC’s complete Dynamic Product Information solution in the West: – Arbortext Content Manager – Arbortext Architect – Arbortext Editor – Arbortext Styler – Arbortext IsoDraw – Arbortext Publishing Engine – as well as other Arbortext associated products. Our customers cover a vast range of verticals from, Aerospace & Defense, Automotive and Industrial, Technology, Networks, Services & Government, Software, Publishing, and Life Sciences. Our team has over a decades experience in product and process information documentation publishing, editing, and conversion experience. Well over a decade’s experience with the Arbortext toolset. Our team will help you jump start your program by: o Assessing your specific needs for the near term and long term o Collaboratively working with you to create the optimum learning path for your team. o Acting as a mentoring resource as your internal team gains momentum. Contact 408-660-3219 info@single-sourcing.com 19

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