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Practical Content Management: What Really Works


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Presented at DocTrain East 2007 Conference by joe Gollner, Stilo International -- This presentation will introduce practical strategies for getting the most out of content component management. While it may seem that the management of content components is a recent phenomenon, there is a significant body of implementation experience, both good and bad, that stretches back over 20 years. This experience showcases what typically works well and what is a recipe for certain disaster. A general framework will be provided that sketches out the range of considerations that should be factored into a complete solution and recommendations will shared on how implementations can be structured to provide the highest chance of success. In order to make the topic as tangible as possible, the presentation will include real-world examples where some of the key challenges associated with deploying DITA have been successfully addressed.

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Practical Content Management: What Really Works

  1. 1. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Practical Content Management: DocTrain East 2007 What Really Works Joe Gollner 18 October 2007 Copyright © Stilo International plc 2007 Practical Content Management What does really work? Context & History of Content Management Practical Strategies for Making Content Management Effective
  2. 2. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Content is Everywhere Content is the physical form of our communication Content populates an ecosystem where people receive, internalize, modify, create and share that content. Content connects everything. Implications for Managing Content We are faced with: Massively expanding content volumes Diversifying venues for content delivery Proliferating format varieties Rising expectations of users Escalating specialization of content Evolving interconnectedness of content Multiplying problems related to content security Emerging lifecycle challenges (permanent accrual) Increasing complexity of content (reintegration of data & documents) Growing recognition of the central importance of content
  3. 3. Practical Content Management: What Really Works The Content Management Market so far Given the magnitude of the challenge It is no surprise that Content Management has under-performed The Content Management Market Estimated as reaching $1.7 billion by 2007 (WinterGreen Research) Incremental growth (<20% per year) Continues to struggle with weak “ROI” metrics Still lacks a “killer app” The growth in the importance of content will bring change Globalization Cost-competitiveness Escalating demand for information requires that Content Management becomes effective… Practical Strategies for Content Management No Royal Road to Success Key elements include: Appreciation for the challenges surrounding content Framework for understanding the whole range of challenges Seeing each challenge as unique Deploying appropriate responses Evaluating alternatives rigorously Technologies Standards Maintaining an enterprise focus Keep options open…
  4. 4. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Content Engineering Working Definition The application of rigorous engineering discipline to the design, development and deployment of content management and processing solutions Distinguishing Features Systematic approach Progressive use of technology Awareness of Lifecycle considerations Total cost of ownership Solution scalability Content Engineering Content Engineering Governing discipline Goal-directed Content Processing Enhance Value Content Management Protect Value People Create Value Planning Designing Authoring Editing
  5. 5. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Content Management Components Content Management Control Organize resources, access and lifecycle Change Facilitate the evolution of content and the associated services Deploy Enable the services the content makes possible Content Management & Content Processing A Close Relationship CM cannot exist without content processing services Expanding CM services demands more processing The sophistication of the processing functions increases more rapidly Many CMS solutions are constrained by weak processing capabilities
  6. 6. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Content Processing Components Content Processing Convert Transform Publish Key Focus in Content Engineering Content Processing Components Content Processing Convert Transform Publish Transformation Breaks down into Refactor Relate Collect Resolve Compile Emphasis on leveraging efficient automation
  7. 7. Practical Content Management: What Really Works The Content Processing Roadmap Convert Content
  8. 8. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Conversion Process Template Facilitating Migration Two key criteria for success Interactive automation Guided with simple web interface Governed by user-defined migration rules Efficient engagement of Subject Matter Experts Making the most of their interventions Retaining inputs so that the process “learns”
  9. 9. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Refactor Content Refactoring Strategies Strategy needed to ensure adequate returns on investment Refactor content that undergoes the highest rates of change first Refactoring includes bursting & normalizing
  10. 10. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Collect Metadata The Storage of Metadata Proven Design Pattern: Detachable Metadata Key metadata clustered into a document sub-component Shareable amongst many uses Incorporated into document when important to do so & only then
  11. 11. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Establish Relationships Link Management Increasingly important Sustains context Increasingly complex Link Analysis Significant processing Leverages external storage of links & link metadata Link generation becoming critical
  12. 12. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Deliver Content The Key to Delivery: High Fidelity Automation Delivery Processing Assembling the inputs Content requested Supporting assets Applicable stylesheets & rules Resolve into a processable whole Compile formattable content representations Publish final formatted renditions
  13. 13. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Content Processing & Validation Validation Essential capability Enables consistent processing Streamlines processes Validation must be Accurate Manageable Informative Actionable Pro-active Continuously improving Progressive Validation Content Validation & Verification Schema structural rules Rules governing content values Instance conformance Content Transformation Supporting multiple lifecycle events Recurrent content enrichment Manipulation of many content types Outputs Validation & Verification Inputs to rendition processes HTML outputs XML outputs Data outputs for applications
  14. 14. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Solution Architecture Assembles components to provide integrated services Standards selection & integration Technology selection & integration Multiple solutions will exist Evaluating Standards as Potential Tools Independence From parochial interests, proprietary claims, external influences Formality Of creation, validation, approval & modification process Stability Of standard over time & the backward compatibility of changes Completeness Sufficiency for declared scope as well as availability of useful documentation & reference implementations Adoption Extent of support amongst tool vendors, authorities & users Practicality The extent to which all, or parts, of the standard can be deployed
  15. 15. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Evaluating an Industry Standard Scenario Industry specification Broad scope Specialized stakeholder community Continuously changing & expanding Strategy Implement where necessary Address risk areas Evaluating a Cross-Industry Standard Scenario Addressing widespread issues Broad stakeholder community Mature Further capabilities emerging Strategy Plan for adoption Consider for use in variety of areas
  16. 16. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Technology Selection Key Considerations Solution context Scored against requirements Scoring scale 0 – No Fit 6 – Total Fit Results weighed against acquisition cost Technology Lifecycle Considerations Solution context includes Urgency Complexity Criticality Constraints Projected lifecycle Expected lifespan Rate of change Influencing factors
  17. 17. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Managing Solution Risk Integration risk represents The potential loss of services The potential loss of assets Integration risk increases with the increase in the number of technologies used to build a solution Solution complexity Can be managed Ultimately limits solution affordability and even viability Addressed in Solution Architecture Facets of a Scalable Solution Architecture
  18. 18. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Content Architecture Establishes governing model of the knowledge The knowledge underlying the content The knowledge being encapsulated in the solutions Multiple solutions will exist The Central Role of the Content Architecture
  19. 19. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Top Ten List – Secrets for CM Success Don’t underestimate your content or your business Don’t underestimate the power of good automation Chose an appropriate tool set and validate your choices Don’t invest in expensive technology too early Carefully plan and execute migration activities Take a “customer service” focus in delivering tangible benefits (new products / services) from your investments Be demanding of your suppliers (expect quality) Engage your stakeholders and “take control” of the solution Leverage standards, don’t be enslaved by them Be an active part of the community as a way to learn and as a way to share what you have learned Practical Content Management The time for practical Content Management has arrived Content Management must become more effective The centrality of content in the global economy demands it Both the tools & the techniques have been established XML as the lingua franca Modular content architectures Scalable content processing technologies Methodologies based on experience
  20. 20. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Where did XML come from? Yuri Rubinsky XML Recommendation Stilo International Over Twenty Years of Experience Defense CALS Initiative Microsoft CDROM Publishing Wall Street Journal Interactive European Parliament Global 2000 Clients Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, BAE… Wolters Kluwer, Caterpillar… IBM, SAP, HP, Sun, Toshiba… Providers of OmniMark Premiere Content Processing Platform Providers of ways to Accelerate DITA
  21. 21. Practical Content Management: What Really Works Scalable & Efficient Content Processing Where sophisticated standards, like DITA & S1000D, are involved, the presence of an efficient, scalable and responsive content processing capability is absolutely critical implementation success. This is the role of OmniMark. Advanced automation On-Demand Online Analyzing Content Migration Service Grouping Web-based wizard guides Mapping migration activities Converting Engages subject matter experts Validating efficiently Bursting Reduces cost – improves results Testing