Cheaper, Faster, Better DITA Implementations, Part 1


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Tom Voltz from Lasselle-Ramsay presents some of the most important but frequently overlooked architectural aspects of DITA that you can leverage to improve and simplify your DITA adoption process. The right DITA approach will
* dramatically decrease training costs
* increase consistency and accuracy of your content
* simplify your stylesheet customization
Proper implementation sets you up for success. Learn how in this first of a two-part series.

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Cheaper, Faster, Better DITA Implementations, Part 1

  1. 1. Prepared by © 2009 Lasselle-Ramsay Presented by Secrets to Cheaper, Faster and Better DITA Implementations Part 1 Presenter from Lasselle-Ramsay Tom Voltz
  2. 2. Welcome! • Today’s event is being recorded – link available in follow- up email • Use Q&A panel to submit questions for Q&A session • Full screen view available for slides
  3. 3. Our Presenters Joan Lasselle President Tom Voltz Technology Consultant
  4. 4. Lasselle-Ramsay Industry Expertise 27 years supporting Fortune 100 clients with their content infrastructure
  5. 5. Overview for Today • DITA done wrong and done right • What does it mean to do DITA right? • What makes DITA different? • Compare two approaches to implementing DITA • Why the “Right Way” is Cheaper, Better, and Faster* *most of the time
  6. 6. Poll – Using DITA  Yes  No Question: Are you currently using DITA?
  7. 7. Poll – Pilot vs. Production  Pilot  Production  N/A Question: If currently using DITA, which phase are you in?
  8. 8. Poll – Specializing  Less than 25%  Less than 50%  Less than 75%  100% Question: If using DITA, what percentage have you specialized?
  9. 9. Signs DITA is Done Wrong • Long learning curve • Lots of resistance • Lack of semantic richness • Inconsistent content • Difficult reuse • Extensive training required … in other words, it costs more, takes longer, and quality suffers!
  10. 10. When DITA is Done Right • Easy for authors to learn • Content is richer • Content structure is consistent between authors • Content is easier to reuse • Value of writers increases … in other words, it’s cheaper, faster, and better!
  11. 11. What does it mean to do DITA right? • Hide unnecessary complexity • Use a customized toolset • Don’t just use “DITA out of the box”
  12. 12. Hide Unnecessary Complexity Do you need to understand this… to do this?
  13. 13. Burger, Burger, Fries — Done Wrong
  14. 14. Burger, Burger, Fries — Done Right
  15. 15. Burger, Burger, Fries — Specialized • Simpler training • Faster entry • Higher accuracy • Easier changes • More accessible information for new users – Instantly notify the kitchen – Track your inventory – Track hourly trends
  16. 16. What Makes DITA Different? • DITA Open Toolkit? • Topic Based Architecture for Content • Specialization
  17. 17. Yes, that Darwin • The DITA architecture was inspired by Darwin’s concepts of – Inheritance and – Specialization
  18. 18. Instead of this You can create this What is Specialization? <topic><title>Feature: Sortable List Items</title> <topicbody><p>Now you can sort the items in a list by just dragging them with the mouse… </p> <feature><title>Sortable List Items</title> <featurebody><marketing_description>Now you can sort the items in a list by just dragging them with the mouse… </p>
  19. 19. What is Specialization?
  20. 20. Specialization Lets You • Hide unnecessary complexity • Create domain specific markup • Create richer, more meaningful and more useful content • Create content that is consistent in form and function
  21. 21. Seeing is Believing • Example of writing something using “out of the box” DITA vs. a specialization. • Task – Write a set of FAQs for the new product – Deliver as HTML for web team
  22. 22. “Out of the Box” DITA • Everything You Need! • And Everything You Don’t Need!
  23. 23. Compare Two Approaches • Pilot Project – 10 writers will use the system – 2 writers to work with team during pilot • Joe - priority is to get an early win, and proof of concept working end to end. • Mary - focus on initial analysis and include specialization and tool tweaking as part of the pilot.
  24. 24. Effort Mary Joe Units of Labor Content Analysis Training Development Training Delivery Specialization
  25. 25. And Don’t Forget Joe’s team has this Mary’s team has this
  26. 26. Poll – Training  Yes  No  We didn’t receive training  N/A Question: When your organization adopted DITA, were you sufficiently trained?
  27. 27. Specialization Myths
  28. 28. Specialization Myths Myth 1 Myth 2 Myth 3 Myth 4 Myth 5 Only specialize if we have to Use specialization to extend existing types We’ll be stranded It’s too difficult We won’t be able to support it
  29. 29. Benefits
  30. 30. Secrets to Cheaper, Faster and Better DITA Implementations: Part 2 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 How to construct a DITA specialization architecture for a documentation set
  31. 31. Questions and Next Steps 1-866-793-1542