Presented at DocTrain East 2007 Conference by Amanda Cross -- After you’re sold on the idea of structured writing and get the ball rolling at your company, you can hire consultants to calculate your ROI and make a case to upper management. But after you’ve got the go-ahead from up top, you face a whole new challenge selling the idea to the writers who will actually have to do the work.
The emphasis behind arguments for moving to structured writing is on the bottom line: how much your company will save in translation and how much time your department will save in rewriting content. But as compelling as these benefits are to upper management, they’re equally abstract to the writers in the trenches. Money not spent to translate the same content multiple times does not go into the writer’s pocket, nor does the time saved on rewriting go to the writer’s vacation.
Even worse, not only does the writer not personally realize the benefits of the change, the writer can actually be threatened by the move to structured writing. It can look like the company is trying to automate their jobs or is looking for a reason to replace them.
However, the reality is that the content creator may actually be the biggest beneficiary of the move to structured writing. Your writers can be enthusiastic adopters of this methodology if you can demonstrate to them how it will make their job easier, their product more reliable, and their role more pivotal to the success of the company.
This session is for managers and department opinion-makers who are trying to sell structured writing with XML to content creators. You’ll explore strategies for including writers in the innovation process, learn how structured authoring reallocates writers’ time from mundane tasks to creative problem solving, and discover how a structured document is a document a writer can be proud of.