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The Joy of Reuse


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Presented at CM Strategies / DITA North America 2013 in Providence RI

The slides are a little dense for my taste but I tried to make them sufficiently self-explanatory to be useful on Slideshare. During the actual presentations, my on-stage antics are intended to shift the attention off the slides although the effectiveness of this strategy is open to debate. The delivery of this particular presentation was made a little more interesting with there being a security interruption that required the evacuation of the over-crowded room. Several attendees lauded the gratuitous use of literary, historical and cultural references - running the gambit from Dante and Virgil through to Lady Gaga. Some were in fact spontaneous and maybe even unconscious.

Published in: Technology

The Joy of Reuse

  1. 1. The Joy of Reuse:Content, Structure & SolutionsCMS / DITA North America 2013Joe Gollner, Gnostyx Research
  2. 2. Something of Myself @joegollnerThe Content
  3. 3. Reuse and the Road to SustainabilityContent ReuseModel ReuseStandards ReuseSolution ReuseTechnology ReuseInfrastructure ReuseCapability ReuseProcess ReuseKnowledge ReuseResource ReuseFiftyShadesof ReuseCase Study: NATOCase Study: iFixit.comReuse & Sustainability
  4. 4. Content Reuse: Single SourcingMaximization of Returns on Content InvestmentDelivering content to allconsumer channels• All users• All devices• All contextsDriving business returnsExpanding revenue channelsOpening new marketsFeeding sales cycleEnabling User SuccessBenefits seen in user environment
  5. 5. DITA Reuse: Single SourcingDITA Publishing FrameworkProvides a simpleimplementation of thesingle-sourcing model• Maps facilitate selection,ordering & contextualizationof source content• Rendition processes of theDITA Open Toolkit providereference output behaviourExtensible FrameworkLeveraging documented methodsExploiting “openness” of standard & toolkit
  6. 6. Content Reuse: Source OptimizationMain Focus Area when considering “reuse”Content Reuse enablesElimination of content redundancy• Often inexcusably high & expensiveDramatically reduced globalization costsContinuous revision & approval processes• Increased concurrency of effort• Collapsed cycle timesIncreased work delegation options• Within an organization (e.g., with subject matter experts)• Across a supply chain of external providersRe-organization of content around subject domain (product)
  7. 7. Case Study: Source Optimization in ActionModular Equipment Content40% - 70% content reduction30% - 40% cycle time reduction35% - 45% lifecycle cost reductionAssemblyAssemblyInformationDescription Operation ServicePart ModuleDiagramSpecificationModuleDiagramModuleMaintenance TaskUnusual ConditionPhysicalFunctionalAbstractPlan AcquireValidateLocalizeValidateFormatValidateLocalize Optimized source contentmaximizes process concurrencyLegacy processes operate in a sequential model that transitions work at the deliverable levelOptimized source contentNon-optimized source contentAcquireLocalizeValidateFormatPlanValidate
  8. 8. DITA Reuse: Source OptimizationDITA provides agrounded method forimplementingTopic OrientationEncourages a specificapproach with typehierarchyFlexibility exists tointroduce other approaches to Topic OrientationDITA provides mechanisms for tackling challengesEvolving approaches to effectively identifying, qualifying &referencing topics where high levels of reuse are pursued
  9. 9. More on DITA & Source OptimizationDITA Metrics 101by Mark LewisAssembles the work that Mark has beendoing for several years on helpingorganizations quantify the savingsthey can realize through DITA-basedsource content reuse.See: http://DITAMetrics101.comAlso available: Spreadsheet TemplatesSee short review at:
  10. 10. Model ReuseCommon Content Patternshave received repeated treatmentTroubleshooting informationReference dataProcedural instructionsNew Projects can benefitby leveraging existing patternsAnalysis studies gap between legacy content & patternsDITA offers a range of content patternsDITA extensibility allows other patterns to be importedEspecially useful for leveraging specialist domains
  11. 11. Standards ReuseStandards best seen as:Distilled best practicesbroadly adapted & appliedwithin a specific sectorAs a toolboxfrom which models & practicescan be reused & to whichimprovements can be contributedStandards lessusefully seen as:Prescriptionsto be obeyedUniversalsolutions
  12. 12. Solution ReuseA Content Solution:the Combination of Content with BehaviourTangible for business stakeholdersThe level at which investment decisionsare made & returns are realizedReusable Solution ComponentsAllow capabilities to be explored & evaluatedCan be combined to realize larger benefitsDemand openness• Accessible interfaces• Adaptable functionality• Modular independence of content topics & application components
  13. 13. Technology ReuseComponentization of ToolsTrend in Hardware & Software“Best-of-breed” componentsassembled to addressrequirementsThe technology counterpart totopic orientation of contentContent Solution StrategyEncourages exploitation of new technical capabilitiesas they emerge in the marketplaceEncourages competition among candidate technologies• Continuous pressure maintained as replacement is always possible
  14. 14. Infrastructure ReuseLeverage the Oldas well as the NewExploiting availabletechnology can be keyin many organizations• Reduces start-up costs• Levels out the transitionprocess for both business& IT stakeholders• Recovers returns frompast investments• Helps ground innovations in established practices(frequently providing as many positives as negatives)N.B. Depends on the separation of content from behaviour
  15. 15. Capability ReuseThe Capabilities of PeopleWill be an organization’s mostexpensive & valuable assetReuse Strategyshould facilitate:Tapping legacy capabilitiesbased on historical practicesBuilding new competenciesto support new practicesEngaging a new generation of employees & suppliersSolution openness enables adaptable user interfacesAdapting to fit into each user’s context & capabilities
  16. 16. Process ReuseBusiness ProcessManagement InnovationDriven by needs for improved• Supplier integration• Regulatory compliance• Management accountabilityProcess ReuseEnables business agility• Adopt, adapt & share best practices• Outsource / insource as neededFacilitates alignment across “loosely connected” partnersExternalizes knowledge hidden in the process
  17. 17. Knowledge ReuseStructured Approachto Solution ReuseEstablishes traceabilityacross reused content topics& application components• Linking research to results• Enabling the bi-directional,end-to-end flow of data• Establishes “Authority Network”substantiating decisions& actions• Essential for systematic &continuous improvementTrue Knowledge Management
  18. 18. Resource ReuseFocus on Investment OptimizationMinimize the investments neededto achieve similar or superior ends• Reduce capital requirements• Reduce Operating &Maintenance costsMaximize returns on investments• Accelerate realization of returns• Generate multiple returnsfrom each investment• Enable new content reuse arrangements with partnersMinimize risks associated with abrupt financial changesMaximize level of value-added investment vs overhead
  19. 19. Reuse and SustainabilityTrue SustainabilityDepends directlyon the efficiency,maintainability& adaptability ofsolutionsA Reuse Strategyis fundamental to achieving these goals in any solution• Only solutions refactored at all levels will be truly sustainable• Content, Models, Standards, Components, Technology,Infrastructure, Capability, Processes, Knowledge and Resources• Only solutions adhering to this architectural guideline can bemaintained and adapted in a way that permits evolution over time• Only these solutions will survive serious environmental shocks
  20. 20. Case Study: iFixit.comOpen ManualsInnovativebusinessmodel• Provide free manuals• Sell tools & partsMission• Empowering people to fixtheir own hardware• Facilitating aresponsible &sustainablelifecycle modelfor consumer goods
  21. 21. The Joy of ReuseReuseas aStateof Mind
  22. 22. Lacrimae rerum – Tears in ThingsVirgil Aeneid Book IA range of translationsand interpretationshave been offered forSunt Lacrimae rerumwith “There are Tearsin Things” being mychoice. As builders,the Romans appreciatedthe price people pay tomake things that last…
  23. 23. Sustaining ConnectionsJoe GollnerGnostyx Research Inc.www.gnostyx.comjag@gnostyx.comTwitter: @joegollnerBlog: The Content