Eliminating End Game - How to be a hero and streamline documentation production


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Eliminating End Game - How to be a hero and streamline documentation production

  1. 1. Eliminating END GAME STC Houston Tuesday, 13 th March, 2007
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What Did We Learn From You ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is “END GAME” ? </li></ul><ul><li>How to Get Rid of “END GAME” </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing a Strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Starting Point. </li></ul><ul><li>Becoming a Hero ! </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>20 + Years in Technical Publications </li></ul><ul><li>10 Years in Production Shops </li></ul><ul><li>10 Years in Publishing Software </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content Management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Editing Tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publishing Engines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Document Conversion </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What Did We Learn From You ? The Boss “ I don’t understand what’s so difficult – anyone can write. All you have to do is create the content and then just publish it.” The Reality Standards Software Products Focus has been on creating the content and formats but not the publishing process.
  5. 5. What Did We Learn From You ? <ul><li>“ JUST PUBLISH IT” </li></ul><ul><li>Covers a lot of stuff.. </li></ul><ul><li>Tight schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Limited budgets </li></ul><ul><li>Changing user needs </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of management understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Writers are tenacious. </li></ul><ul><li>“ THE END GAME” </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is “END GAME” ? <ul><li>“ END GAME” </li></ul><ul><li>Phrase Came From A Customer </li></ul><ul><li>Steps needed to create output formats (HTML, PDF, Online Help etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Not about Content or Styling. </li></ul><ul><li>Repeatable for every release </li></ul><ul><li>Potential bottleneck (c.f. webmaster) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is “END GAME” ? “ END GAME” Can Be Your Worst Nightmare
  8. 8. How to Get Rid of “END GAME”. <ul><li>Examine requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legacy content? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Printed manuals? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Online format types? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other languages/locales? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lifetime of content? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Update interval? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Software budget? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Strive for automation </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No post-conversion edits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Automate post-conversion steps </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid visual Q/A requirements at end </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All errors identified by system </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. How to Get Rid of “END GAME”. <ul><li>Avoid over-reliance on best practices. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flaws must be identifiable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enforce conformance up-front </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid HTML lists unless enforced with structured editor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Track updates </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep previous version for “diff” analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compare conversion engine changes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compare content changes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Simplifies final review </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prevents future migration difficulties </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Choosing a Strategy Topic or document based? Authoring environment? Publishing system?
  11. 11. Choosing a Strategy Topic or document based? <ul><li>Topics require up front effort </li></ul><ul><li>Documents are harder to reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller means more work </li></ul><ul><li>DTD, Schema, or unstructured? </li></ul><ul><li>Choose wisely... </li></ul>
  12. 12. Choosing a Strategy Authoring environment? <ul><li>Adobe FrameMaker </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Large documents </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Powerful cross-reference and book operations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best of both worlds (XML and WYSIWYG) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Choosing a Strategy Authoring environment? <ul><li>Microsoft Word </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Available across enterprise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced training cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MS Office integration </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Choosing a Strategy Authoring environment? <ul><li>Help Authoring Tools (HATs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Help centric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low software cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Editing and delivery in one environment. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Choosing a Strategy Publishing system? <ul><li>Standardized/productized </li></ul><ul><li>Open architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Content Management System Integration </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to maintain </li></ul><ul><li>Total cost of ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Support for new formats (i.e. Vista) </li></ul><ul><li>Automation/workflow flexibility </li></ul>
  16. 16. Create a Starting Point. <ul><li>Create simple style template </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Headings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bullets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note/alert styles </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Create a Starting Point. <ul><li>Create sample use cases </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tables </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Print vs. online </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Popup, glossary, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Becoming a Hero !
  19. 19. Becoming a Hero ! Ultimate goal <ul><li>Free the writer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused on content not tool used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide ability for individual publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Peace of mind for management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Means for tracking content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular scheduled build runs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Means for adapting to future requirements </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. The Three Components Map Document Style to Output Style Source + Map = On Demand Publishing Lights Out / Hands Off for Automation Output
  21. 21. Work Flow – Developing The Rules Document Designer Document Style = Output Style Styles Template
  22. 22. Work Flow – On Demand Publishing Writers / Production Output Source + Map Source Documents
  23. 23. Work Flow – Automation CMS Output Lights Out / Hands Off Source Documents Output
  24. 24. Work Flow – Overview Document Style = Output Style Source + Map Lights Out / Hands Off Source Documents Styles Template Output
  25. 25. How Do We Fit In? – The Commercial ePublisher Express ePublisher AutoMap Stationery Source Documents Styles Template ePublisher Pro Output
  26. 26. WebWorks RoundUp 2007 Remember, Remember the 5 th of November Please Join Us at The Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel Congress Street, Austin, TX November 5 th -6 th For WebWorks RoundUp 2007 Details at www.webworks.com/ Or signup to receive The Works newsletter.
  27. 27. Q & A ANY QUESTIONS ??
  28. 28. Alan J. Porter Director of Services Quadralay Corporation . 9101 Burnet Road, Suite #105 Austin, Texas. 78758 Tel: 512-719-3399 x232 Cell: 512-968-7362 [email_address]