Before You Touch The Tools: Strategies for Adopitng Structured Content


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Adopting structured content has a lot more potential than simply re-using content between multiple documents. This presentation aligns the tactical with strategic considerations, and helps you discover multiple types of structured content and where to apply them, how to use content to add value, and how to sell your ideas to stakeholders up the corporate ladder.

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Before You Touch The Tools: Strategies for Adopitng Structured Content

  1. 1. Strategies for Adopting Structured Content Rahel Anne Bailie, Intentional Design Inc.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Contact info: </li></ul><ul><li>Rahel Anne Bailie </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Office: </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional Design Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>+1.604.837.0034 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Social media: </li></ul><ul><li>rahelab </li></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  3. 3. Dispelling myths about tools
  4. 4. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  5. 5. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  6. 6. <ul><li>Diagnose </li></ul><ul><li>Prescribe </li></ul><ul><li>Treat </li></ul>
  7. 7. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Not: Does the product have workflow? Instead: Does your product’s workflow support how we need to work in our organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Not: Does the product have verisoning? Instead: How does your product do version control, and keep audit trails? </li></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  9. 9. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc. Who owns the content Who will enforce the processes Who will own the budget Is there enough political will Who will own the process Will our staff cope
  10. 10. <ul><li>Smart client </li></ul><ul><li>Thin client </li></ul><ul><li>Component content management </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-user enabled client </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-media or multi-channel publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Integrates with popular translation and publishing tools </li></ul><ul><li>DITA-compatible </li></ul><ul><li>Feature-rich XML solution </li></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  11. 11. <ul><li>No standard industry vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Features give competitive advantage: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Image resizing – Automatic? Batch? Choices of outputs? Included or custom work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authentication – What type does it refer to? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friendly URLs – same as “URL rewrites”? </li></ul></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  12. 12. <ul><li>One example of why staff** avoided using their CMS at all cost </li></ul><ul><li>Content must be cut and pasted manually from one area of the CMS to the other. </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to change content in certain areas of the site, or add sections to or delete sections from the site. </li></ul><ul><li>Making certain [light] changes requires a change order (and $$,000) and must be carried out by the integrators. </li></ul><ul><li>Check content in/out is involuntary; using Save command auto-checks in a file. </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t “save as draft”; must “save to preview”; if missing info midway, user must abandon workflow or invoke workaround in order to save. </li></ul><ul><li>The character recognition does not work properly for things like accents; can’t spell check inside the CMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to reliably paste and save HTML into the CMS. </li></ul><ul><li>That’s just for the content creation process (of a multipage report)! </li></ul><ul><li>**Used with the understanding that none of the parties would be identified. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Integrators customize systems (tools) </li></ul><ul><li>Need deep knowledge of the tool </li></ul><ul><li>Need to understand business operations </li></ul><ul><li>Vendors – professional services </li></ul><ul><li>Partners – tool-specific integration </li></ul><ul><li>Have an ongoing relationship as system changes are needed </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t want to be held hostage by integrators </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Learning content management is like learning a new software language </li></ul><ul><li>“ Just read a book” </li></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  15. 15. <ul><li>Multiple skill sets: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content strategist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content structure editor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxonomist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Template designer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information architect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XML technologist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XSL developer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple roles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content strategist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical publisher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CMS Administrator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirements analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology analysis </li></ul></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  16. 16. COMPLEX CHAOTIC COMPLICATED SIMPLE From Complex adaptive: Pattern management; correlation ≠ causation Analytical – reductionist: Scenario planning & systems thinking Crisis management: Intervene to stabilize Standard Operating Procedures: Best Practices & Process Re-engineering Computer systems Human systems Mechanical systems No system (Sudden change / innovation)
  17. 17. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  18. 18. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc. Do you have enough in-house resources What kind of content processing power do you need Are your processes documented How much custom work is needed Can the software support your needs What is the TCO
  19. 19. Strategic goals
  20. 20. <ul><li>I.T. hears about a CMS. </li></ul><ul><li>The CMS gets installed. </li></ul><ul><li>Your group is told to use it. </li></ul><ul><li>You find it lacks the right functionality. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t get the resources to customize it. </li></ul><ul><li>The project goes sideways. </li></ul><ul><li>You go back to manual processing, and IT brands your group “uncooperative.” </li></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  21. 21. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc. Where will the content be stored Will our docs get restructured Will we change production processes What about our translations Does the project fit with our corporate strategy Do we have to tag everything
  22. 23. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc. Used under Creative Commons (c) 2006 CM Professionals
  23. 24. © 2008 Intentional Design Inc. <ul><li>How usable do you expect your tool to be? </li></ul>Better usability Better processes Higher rate of acceptance
  24. 25. Tactical implementations
  25. 26. <ul><li>Name the reasons we want structured content </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take 10 minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work in groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One person is recorder </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Debrief </li></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>Re-use between docs </li></ul><ul><li>Re-use between different doc types </li></ul><ul><li>Automatically insert data </li></ul><ul><li>Improve accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Improve findability </li></ul><ul><li>Improve translation processes </li></ul><ul><li>Work faster </li></ul><ul><li>Add value </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency (IRR) </li></ul><ul><li>Increase brand loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Profitability (ROI) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce time to market (existing or new) </li></ul><ul><li>Risk management </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Name the strategic reasons for using structured content </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take 10 minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Match each tactical reason with a strategic reason </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One person is recorder </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Debrief </li></ul>
  28. 29. Product differentiation Cost impact Customer profitability Number of customers Number of suppliers Switchability Spare industry capacity Entry barriers Relative service Product performance Relative market share Overhead Variable cost Customer price sensitivity Capital intensity Level of service Relative perceived value Relative costs Market attractiveness Competitive position Current profitability
  29. 30. Matching structure to purpose
  30. 31. <ul><li>HTML </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XHTML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microformats </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XML </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DITA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DocBook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S1000D </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DITA wikis </li></ul></ul>
  31. 32. <ul><li>HTML </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>XHTML </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Microformats </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  32. 33. <ul><li>XML </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> xml /default.asp </li></ul><ul><li>DITA </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>DocBook </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>S1000D </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>And many other schemas: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><li>Wiki languages </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Specialty XML </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  34. 35. Using structure to create value
  35. 36. <ul><li>Single-sourcing across documents </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating localization </li></ul><ul><li>The “triumverate”: technical documents, training material, knowledge base items </li></ul><ul><li>Syndication </li></ul><ul><li>Integration </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence </li></ul><ul><li>Social media </li></ul>
  36. 38. Training instantiation TechComm instantiation Support instantiation
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  41. 45. Technical documentation Training material CS knowledge base User-generated content Corporate website/ extranet/intranet Marketing material Mobile workforce Site visitors
  42. 46. How strategic can you be?
  43. 47. <ul><li>Think big </li></ul><ul><li>Look up the chain </li></ul><ul><li>Look to provide value, value, and more value </li></ul><ul><li>Plan strategic, implement tactical </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t do it alone; get help </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be the “odd man out” </li></ul><ul><li>Get an executive sponsor </li></ul><ul><li>Present to the executive level </li></ul><ul><li>Practice your defence techniques </li></ul>
  44. 48. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback? </li></ul>© 2008 Intentional Design Inc.