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DITA Quick Start Webinar Series: Building a Project Plan
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DITA Quick Start Webinar Series: Building a Project Plan

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Presenters: Joe Gelb, President, Suite Solutions and Yehudit Lindblom, Project Manager, Suite Solutions ...

Presenters: Joe Gelb, President, Suite Solutions and Yehudit Lindblom, Project Manager, Suite Solutions
Abstract:
Migrating to DITA XML-based authoring and publishing promises rich rewards in terms of lower costs and faster time to publication. But DITA migration also requires a well-planned process that will lead you through all the steps of a successful implementation. In this webinar, experienced project manager Yehudit Lindblom and Joe Gelb will review a process that covers all the bases, helping you build your game plan for a winning DITA implementation.
Visit us at http://www.suite-sol.com
Follow us on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/company/527916

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    DITA Quick Start Webinar Series: Building a Project Plan DITA Quick Start Webinar Series: Building a Project Plan Presentation Transcript

    • Migrating to DITA: Building a Project Plan Yehudit Lindblom & Joe Gelb November 18, 2013
    • Who are we? Yehudit Lindblom • Project Manager and cat herder Joe Gelb • Founder and President of Suite Solutions Suite Solutions Our Vision: Enable you to engage your customers by providing quick access to relevant information: DITA provides the foundation • Help companies get it right the first time • XML-based Authoring/Publishing Solutions • Enterprise Intelligent Dynamic Content: SuiteShare Social KB • Consultancy, Systems Integration, Application Development • Cross-Industry Expertise • High Tech, Aerospace & Defense, Discrete Manufacturing • Healthcare, Government
    • Main Topics • • • Goals of this webinar Key components of a DITA solution High level steps
    • Goals of this Webinar Primary Goal: Empower (not overwhelm) you • Understand the process, details and dependencies involved • Build a solid plan based on experience • Schedule accordingly • Understand the skills required and the help you should seek • Manage expectations • Discuss what you should – and should not - do
    • DITA. It’s like building a house What do you need to build a house? • Get educated about houses • Architect to design according to need and budget • Engineer to make sure it’s built right, with the right materials, on stable foundations with the ability to expand • Contractor to manage the project, bring in the right resources at the right time to get the construction done, according to the specs • Workers to actually build, with good quality, according to plans
    • DITA. It’s like building a house Reality Check: • No matter how handy you are, very few people can do all these steps and build a house on their own • At some point, you need help to fill in the gaps in knowledge and utilize the experience of others who've done it • The whole process is detailed and not always easy, but it’s worthwhile in the end
    • Key Components of a DITA Solution 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Staff Content Translation Publishing Content and configuration management Your mission is to develop or acquire each of these
    • High Level Steps          Assembling your project team Training Solution Architecture Information Architecture Content conversion to XML Style sheet development for publishing Configuration of content management tools Deployment Support
    •  Assembling your project team Your team should include: • Main project stakeholders • Writer • Familiar with your content • Open to learning the new methods and tools • Not necessarily the most senior and entrenched person in the group… • Information architect Someone with a good understanding of the corpus of your content and how is (or should be) used • Technical tools “guru” • Someone who can understand the toolset being customized and stitched together • Understand what they do, who to turn to if something breaks or needs adjustment, can work well with vendors and your IT department
    • Assembling your project team • External project manager • Helps you build a comprehensive project plan • Helps you coordinate with your external resources: IA consultant, software vendors, conversion experts, style sheet developers… • Has a broad and detailed view of all the moving parts and is focused on the success of your entire implementation • Brings experience to your team
    • Assembling your project team Project Plan Reality Check: • Allow enough time for each step • Gathering material • Testing and approvals • Make sure the pre-requisites are ready at each stage • Make sure internal resources will be available when needed • Training • Regular update meetings and decision-making sessions • Answer questions • Test • Re-test • Approve Allow enough time to do the job right and not take shortcuts: you need the solid foundation to build on
    •  Training Quick Start Training • Your project team will need to make nitty-gritty detailed decisions about requirements, priorities, preferences • Initial training goals • Gain a good understanding of the process and vocabulary • Get some hands-on experience • Set expectations • Best practice: • Hands-on training with exercises on real, familiar content
    • Training Reality Check: • You’ll want a second training session for all the writers when it comes time to move into production, using the actual tools. Budget for it. • Your DITA trainer should use lots of hands-on exercises based on your content and your information architecture, content model and metadata model
    •  Solution Architecture Key Considerations: Scope. Schedule. Budget. • Scope: What are your key goals and requirements? • What are the business goals: yours? Your stakeholders? Your company? • Types of content • Who’s reading it? What are their goals? • Types of outputs • What are the pain points that need resolution? Answer these questions for now and over the next 3 years • Schedule • Design for a phased implementation: it may not all happen at once • Budget • Build a business case around the potential savings and value-add • What will be a reasonable budget request to start, implement in stages, and maintain
    •  Information Architecture Content Audit • Review of existing content • Identify delivery structures and use case scenarios • Discover where specialization can be beneficial • Identify reuse opportunities Content Model • What topic types to use • Build specializations • Develop strategy for organizing maps, relationships, reuse • Build metadata and/or subject scheme model • Build templates for new topics and publications
    • Information Architecture Reality Check: • This is not a one-time activity – it’s a process • Your IA will evolve as you migrate more content: convert and publish
    •  Content conversion to XML • • • • • Develop mapping rules between current unstructured content and your new content model Formulate specs for migrating content elements such as index, conditionalization, variables, metadata, context sensitivity strings… Prepare pre- and post-conversion checklists: • The content will need work to get into the proper structure • Some work is easier to do before the conversion, some after Coordinate with style sheet developers Review conversion spreadsheets • Lists all headings in the document • Set the granularity for splitting into topics • Change titles, add indexes or metadata, merge conditionalization…
    • Content conversion to XML Reality Check: • The content will need work to get into the proper structure • Time spent preparing for the conversion will have huge impact on the rest of your process and time to achieve production-ready results • When developing the conversion specs, use a comprehensive representative sample • Will save time later; reduces need to stop and tweak the conversion tools for unexpected styles or patterns • The conversion process essentially infers structure based on styles – paragraph and character • Be rigorous with the styles used in the input documents • It is irritating grunt work to check and re-apply styles, but it will save huge effort later • Even one character styled wrong has potential to throw off the conversion algorithm for that topic
    •  Style sheet development • • • • • • Identify detailed formatting requirements for each output format: PDF, HTML, help, mobile, dynamic web, eLearning… Coordinate with the information architect and conversion team Be prepared • Have all the fonts available • Invest the time to put together good test data, based on your IA, that simulates each combination of tagging and structure • Test data should account for how it will look coming out of the CMS • Communicate clear and detailed formatting requirements Develop style sheets based on industry best practices Localize after the base language (usually English) is working well • You do not need separate style sheets for each language… Document the style sheets: parameters, outputclasses…
    • Style sheet development Reality Check: • Job isn’t finished until you can publish real content from the CMS • Ideally, for the style sheet beta testing, publish converted content from the CMS • Localized style sheets cannot be completed until tested with real translated content • Leave room in your budget for tweaking the style sheets • As you migrate more content, you will encounter new patterns in the tagging • Style sheets are very sensitive to differences in tagging, especially for PDF • Page-break rules are sometimes complex and may be tweaked over time
    •  Configure CCMS tool • • • • Configure metadata • Requires coordination with information architect and style sheet developers Integrate style sheets Configure workflow, user management Don’t sign off until you have real content uploaded and publishing properly
    • Configure CCMS tool Reality Check: • Each CMS handles metadata, classification and conditionalization differently • Each CMS handles the publishing tool-chain differently • Integration with the DITA Toolkit • Integration with PDF rendering engines Antenna House, XEP, FOP, Top Leaf … • These factors impact your information architecture, style sheets, and sometimes the document conversion
    •  Deployment • • • • • Install and test the tools – on premises or hosted Import content Validate the entire process Train your authoring team Develop a plan for migration: stop, freeze, convert, fix, import, publish, test
    •  Support • Authoring: Consider a weekly author’s forum to: • Share tagging situations they came across • Ask questions to the information architect or “go to” expert • Discuss ideas for sharing and organizing content • Discuss ideas for updating the tagging model • Tools • Allow for time and budget to tweak the style sheets and CMS tools
    • Keep in Touch! Let us know how we can help you. For additional information, contact: Yehudit Lindblom Joe Gelb solutions@suite-sol.com U.S. Office (609) 360-0650 EMEA Office +972-2-993-8054 www.suite-sol.com Follow us on Linked-In http://www.linkedin.com/company/527916