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From Waterfall to Agile: Adapting Traditional Metrics to Measure, Monitor, and Achieve Agile Success
Recorded: January 18, 2017
During this presentation attendees will learn to re-examine their definition of successful project management in light of Agile methodologies. Learn how to select key performance indicators for measuring Agile success. Understand how to interpret measurements and take action based on them. Finally find out how to position metrics so that they positively influence the behaviors of the team.
Presented by Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services Inc.
Get Keyed Up About (DITA 1.3) Keys!
Recorded: January 12, 2017
DITA 1.3 introduces scoped keys, which expand the key functionality introduced in DITA 1.2. In DITA 1.2, a key could have only one definition with a root map. This limitation proved a barrier to a fully-realized reuse strategy for many documentation teams.This webinar explains the evolution of keys between DITA 1.2 and DITA 1.3, and presents several basic examples and use cases for scoped keys. It also explains key spaces and the interaction between multiple key spaces in a map. During this webinar, the presenter will use the oXygen XML editor with the understanding that other XML editors might choose to visually represent the scoped key functionality differently.
Presented by Leigh W. White, IXIASOFT Technologies
The Best of Both Worlds: A Holistic Approach to DITA Authoring, Publishing, and Content Management
Recorded: December 15, 2016
Content is king, and organizations are creating content in amounts that were unheard of just a few years ago. Marketing and Technical Publications teams often develop content in different tools and store content in separate content management systems, which makes it extremely difficult to share content and deliver a unified and consistent customer experience. Gone are the days when you had the luxury of getting phone calls from confused customers. Today, consumers would much rather tap or swipe their way to your competitor. To address this problem, Adobe has created an end-to-end solution for DITA authoring, publishing, and component content management based on Adobe Experience Manager. This integrated solution speeds up the delivery of technical content on the market-leading platform that has helped marketers deliver compelling digital experiences. Join Stefan Gentz, Product Evangelist, and Dustin Vaughn, Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe as they discuss and demonstrate this DITA CCMS and how to integrate technical and marketing content.
Presented by Stefan Gentz and Dustin Vaughn, Adobe
Standards for Standards Organizations
Recorded: December 14, 2016
In this session, join Dr. JoAnn Hackos, OASIS DITA Technical Committee and ISO standards developer, and Bill Burns Vasont Systems’ Applications Engineer, for an understanding of a new way to develop and publish standards. Learn why the status quo (Word docs and other unstructured file submissions) doesn’t work anymore. Understand how structured content and content management can reduce content-development overhead. Learn what tool vendors have been doing to make structured content development and content management less painful. Discover how content can be output to multiple devices in multiple formats without extra effort.
Presented by JoAnn Hackos Comtech Services and Bill Burns, Vasont Systems
Short Descriptions Shouldn’t Be a Tall Order: Writing Effective Short Descriptions
Recorded: November 30, 2016
DITA short descriptions have gotten a bad rap over the years, and what was designed to be an essential tool to help technical writers craft better topics and aid readers to narrow down their search for the right content, is perceived by many to be a chore or an afterthought. IXIASOFT DITA Specialist, Keith Schengili-Roberts and JANA Inc.’s Senior Structured Data Analyst, Joe Storbeck got together and wrote an OASIS white paper how and why crafting effective short descriptions are among the most important things a DITA-based technical writer can do. Keith and Joe will examine how to write effective short description for concepts, references and troubleshooting topic types as well as for maps and APIs. This presentation will cover why short descriptions are a good idea (really!), how they make finding content easier for readers, can increase the SEO for your online documents, and much more. If you are looking to understand why short descriptions are important and how to craft them properly, don’t miss this presentation!
Presented by Keith Schengili-Roberts, IXIASOFT and Joe Storbeck, JANA
Continuous Delivery is not Just for Software
Recorded: November 29, 2016
In this presentation, Jennifer will show how she modified her documentation workflow from doing things manually to having multiple documentation targets automated and publishing them to one or more sites. Jennifer will briefly describe the manual build and publish processes and how long it took to perform them as well as challenges of running this process consistently. Then she will describe and show how these processes were automated and summarize the improvements (spoiler alert: 50% speed up) resulting from it.
Presented by Jennifer Chew, Nuage Networks
Sowing Seeds of Transformation: How One Technical Documentation Team Changed an Industry
Recorded: October 13, 2016
Change is difficult and often avoided, and everyone knows insurance companies are risk averse. However, that didn’t stop a small team of technical writers from upending the way they created content for California Casualty. By embracing modular structured content, unproven in their industry at the time, they were able to dramatically increase content findability which had a ripple effect on their entire business. Now California Casualty is an example to other insurance companies on how change can sometimes be a good thing. Join our webinar with Susan Lalor, Senior Information Designer at California Casualty, to find out how her team was able to accomplish this transformation. See how internal stakeholders and content users are just as important as customers. And most importantly, learn best practices for sowing your own seeds of transformation.
Presented by Susan Lalor, California Casualty and Chip Gettinger, SDL
International Standards for Information Development and Content Management – Why are they important to you?
Recorded: August 23, 2016
Standards are as old as human societies: their forebears are the coins and weights that were used for trade as far back as the historical record goes. In this presentation, JoAnn Hackos explains how information development managers can adopt standards that are relevant for our world. Know how standards demonstrate that we are part of a worldwide community dedicated to ensuring that we define and adopt recognized best practices. Learn how we can work together globally to ensure that we define and implement best practices to develop information and deliver it effectively. Dr. Hackos explains which standards are available and which are under development. She will help you learn how you can benefit from standards in your company or organization.
Presented by JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services
Going “The Last Mile”: Delivering DITA Content to Mobile Devices
Recorded: July 27, 2016
Dan and André outline 5 tips to help technical publishers go “the last mile” to fully leverage their DITA investment and deliver content to popular mobile device platforms like Apple iOS and Android. This webinar will also help to answer the burning question: “Why aren’t EPUB or PDF the best choices for delivering DITA content to a mobile device?”
Presented by Dan Dube, Compass Behavior and André Dubé, Cognilore
DITA + SEO: How and why you should optimize DITA-based content for search engine optimization
Recorded: May 24, 2016
There’s a joke going around that asks: where’s the best place to hide a dead body? Answer: on the second page of a Google search. It underscores the fact that if your technical content does not appear at or near the top of what your users are searching for, it might as well not exist. You can mitigate the problem in DITA content by devising an effective taxonomy and inserting effective metadata into your topics. IXIASOFT DITA Specialist Keith Schengili-Roberts has explored this topic and presents his findings on the processes that can be used to make your DITA-based content easy for your users to find.
Presented by Keith Schengili-Roberts, IXIASOFT
The Internet of Things: Extending Automated and Triggered Help Content to your Customers and your Service Personnel
Recorded: May 10, 2016
In the age of IoT, connected devices have opened up a whole new way of supporting your customer. Learn how you can leverage real-time device information to provide your customers with an immediate diagnosis and troubleshooting walkthroughs before they even notice the problem.
In this session you will learn:
- How to create adaptive decision workflows as part of your documentation
- How to trigger the right workflow at the right time based on device information
- How to serve the workflow to customers through your web or mobile application
Presented by Hannan Saltzman, Zoomin
Whatever you do, stop it now! Implementing Lean to eliminate waste in a documentation production factory.
Recorded: April 19, 2016
In this presentation, we embark upon re-thinking the entire content production cycle, and we use The Toyota Way as our philosophy. Expect fun and engaging conversation that will make you question some or all of the time-honoured content production processes and to start looking for waste. We will discuss the Lean principles in Japanese car manufacturing and apply them to content production. We will debate that not only can this be done today, but also that it can be done well. Finally, we will look how using Lean together with a good quality DITA/CMS solution can lead to incredible results in reducing production time and costs, improving team morale, and achieving superior product quality. By product, we, of course, mean content output.
Presented by Nenad Furtula, Bluestream and Galyna Key, Datix
Content Development: Measuring the Trends
Recorded: March 29, 2016
Join DCL and Comtech Services as we review the results of the 2016 Trends Survey, a study we have been conducting since 2012. With four years of data, we can trace the changes in how we think about developing and delivering content. Learn how information developers are coping with new customer demands for innovative approaches to development and delivery. Learn what tools teams are using and how they respond to technical innovations.
Presented by JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc. and Mark Gross, DCL
The Demise of the Manual
Recorded: March 23, 2016
Manuals are rapidly becoming the last items people rely on to find information about the products they have purchased. Leafing through the pages of a printed copy seems too old today. In fact, even finding the printed manual may be difficult in most environments. Instead, we search for answers to our questions using the ubiquitous Google search. Most of the manuals that were in our kitchen drawers are available online but do we really want a PDF of a manual to try to page through? PDF searches are pretty much useless for finding the specific answers to our questions or solving our problems. Instead of a PDF, we’d like a page with the answer, something we often can find without going to the product website. Topics are the new information resource.
Presented by JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services and Nenad Furtula, Bluestream
Hide and Go Seek: Taxonomy and Delivery
Recorded: March 9, 2016
What can we as information developers do to help our users sort through the plethora of information available to them and find that small nugget of truth that will help them complete their task at hand, solve a nagging problem, or make a purchasing decision? How can we create an uncluttered path through the forest that takes them directly to our content, eliminating distractions and unnecessary forks in the road? A corporate taxonomy helps make searching simple and increases the chances for users to find the answers they need on their first try. Unfortunately, the effort to create such systems and the tools required to support them can be prohibitive. In this presentation, Dawn Stevens and Joe Gelb will discuss the importance of a corporate taxonomy, outline the process for defining and testing it, and demonstrate its crucial role within dynamic publishing platforms delivering focused content across all customer touchpoints.
Presented by Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services Inc. and Joe Gelb, Suite Solutions
Implementing content strategy through collaboration
Recorded: February 25, 2016
A content strategy may fall short in delivering on expectations for many reasons – among them failure to send a consistent message about what you expect content developers to do with the strategy, and failure to guide developers as they implement the strategy in their content. Until recently, our practice was to develop a strategy, present it to the team, and leave it to managers and developers to decide how to implement the strategy in their content. This approach produced inconsistent implementation of the strategy, resulting in a lot of content that seemed to have been developed by different organizations. Ron explains how Siemens PLM implemented the content strategy team, shares lessons learned and successes thus far, and describe next steps.
Presented by Ron Hickman, Siemens PLM Software
DITA Adoption: Strengths and Weaknesses
Recorded: February 24, 2016
JoAnn Hackos and Stan Doherty, co-chairs of the OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee, take a careful look at the DITA standard’s adoption worldwide. Although we have witnessed a continuing growth of industries and companies adopting the DITA standard, we have also seen companies either deciding not to pursue DITA or abandoning an earlier excursion. Join Hackos and Doherty in examining the strengths and the weaknesses of DITA Adoption.
Presented by JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services and Stan Doherty, SimpliVity Corporation
Reinventing Content Publishing
Recorded: February 17, 2016
This webinar looks at how the Microsoft Dynamics AX Content Publishing team reinvented their roles, authoring tools, and content creation and publishing processes in an environment where staffing levels are so low that writers can no longer write. You’ll learn about this team’s experience in moving away from traditional content publishing practices and instead, collaborating with other subject matter experts in planning content, identifying appropriate authors, incenting subject matter experts to create the content, and leveraging teams outside of Content Publishing to ensure content quality. The talk covers aspects of change management, influencing without authority, collaboration, partnering, creative problem solving, and teamwork.
Presented by Ann Beebe, Microsoft Dynamics AX
Why Is DITA So Hard? Understanding the link and configuration management challenges inherent in technical documentation
Recorded: January 20, 2016
DITA-based technical documents are inherently sophisticated and complex hyperdocuments. They are developed through complex revision processes, often by highly-distributed teams. Thus DITA documents and their management present a number of challenges inherent in the nature of sophisticated technical documentation. While the value of this sophisticated approach to documentation has tremendous value to organizations as a whole, it can make the life of individual authors much more challenging, leading to the common complaint “DITA is too hard”. This talk presents the link and configuration management challenges inherent in sophisticated hyperlinked documentation and discusses the features of DITA and DITA component content management systems that address these challenges. If authors and managers understand the challenges inherent in DITA-based authoring they can at least set their expectations and provision tools and resources appropriately.
Presented by Eliot Kimber, Contrext, LLC.
Moving to Dynamic Content – Getting Over PDFs
Recorded: December 16, 2015
Case study of Cray Inc. Technical Publications department moving from producing pdfs from 5 different sources to converting to XML DITA and working within a CCMS. From there, content is published to the Pubs portal and available as dynamic content. Geared for anyone in Technical Publications looking to get past creating pdfs in their system. This webinar will briefly cover the conversion and detail the efforts to get to the portal as well as the preparation necessary to accommodate dynamic content. It is assumed attendees are familiar with DITA as an XML model (intimate knowledge is not necessary), are considering implementing XML DITA, or have been working in DITA. Anyone looking for what happens after an XML DITA conversion and what moving forward looks like will gain insights into how to harness the potency of DITA and deliver content in multiple outputs.
Presented by Peggy Sanchez, Cray Inc.
Who’s Afraid of Structured Writing?
Recorded: October 29, 2015
In this webinar, learn why structured authoring is essential to clear and consistent communication. Consider why using a semantic structure enhances the quality of your writing while also making it available for repurposing and retrieval. Rather than considering structure something to avoid, think of it as something to embrace to make your writing more understandable for your readers. And, consider ways to help those who resist a move to structure to understand its benefits by providing them with a supportive authoring environment.
Presented by JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services
Learning to love 6am: Developing a global information model with a distributed team
Recorded: September 30, 2015
Ericsson has made many attempts over the years to overhaul its documentation structure. It’s no easy task, though, to come to consensus across such a large and diverse company. Learn how eight development units spread over eight time zones developed a new global information model for a large-scale DITA implementation project. Fiona explains how it began, the challenges met and overcome, and where the project goes next.
Presented by Fiona Hanington, Ericsson
Beyond conditional processing: Practical reuse strategies for every situation
Recorded: July 1, 2015
We talk a big game: DITA helps you reuse content with ease. Business cases are built on this promise, but many find the goal elusive. It seems to take just as much effort to manage reusable content as it did to simply copy and paste it. Sure, we might have missed some versions of that content in subsequent updates, but now we can destroy someone else’s deliverables by unwittingly changing content they were reusing. The problems are different, but the impact is the same, as we fail to realize the promised benefits and cost savings. At least in the “good old days” we understood what we were doing – Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, and voila! Everyone could do it! Now we struggle with the difference between a keyref and conkeyref, we can’t decide whether to use a conditional attribute or a key, and we have never even made a conref push work, let alone find an application for it. Why isn’t DITA delivering on its reuse promises in so many organizations? In this presentation, Dawn Stevens asserts that the promises can indeed be met, but you must use the right tool for the job. Dawn provides guidance for choosing the appropriate reuse mechanism in the DITA standard as she compares and contrasts each feature, including the forthcoming 1.3 capabilities of scoped keys and branch filtering
Presented by Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services, Inc.
Publishing Training Content Using DITA
Recorded: July 2, 2013
Resistance to DITA from the training community frequently is based on an inability to publish DITA content into traditional training materials, including presentation slides and elearning content. Stevens and Trent discuss how to structure DITA files for training content and demonstrate transforms and stylesheets that create high quality training output. Demonstrations include incorporating audio and video into DITA files for output, publishing presentation slides, and creating SCORM packages for import into an LMS.
Presented by Hal Trent, Comtech Services
Agile Writing: How to avoid merely documenting the interface
Recorded: May 23, 2013
In this webinar, Bill Gearhart, Sr. Consultant for Comtech Services, Inc. will discuss how to write documentation stories and tasks that truly help the user get a job done rather than use an interface. By creating documentation stories that link to the highest level product stories as is possible—even at the epic level—teams can have a dramatic impact in improving content for their customers. Bill will outline this approach and provide some examples of an approach to documentation that addresses customers from their perspective while making life livable for the content creator. After all, that’s what Agile is supposed to be all about, right?
Recorded: August 30, 2012
When you think about organizational politics, do you get a queasy feeling? Do you believe you can and should rise above politics? Do you think of politics as a necessary evil? I did until I heard Dr. Joel DeLuca speak at a seminar 18 years ago. What I learned from him and his book Political Savvy profoundly changed my thinking and behavior. I’ll share some of what I learned and suggest concrete things you can do to become more effective in driving important changes in your organization.
Delivering Effective Mobile User Assistance
Recorded: August 23, 2012
Mobile devices are the new PC, and technical communicators must provide effective mobile user assistance. Attend this webinar to learn key guidelines for user assistance on mobile devices, including mobile task assessment; content strategy and architecture; style and terminology; and considerations for usability, testing, accessibility, and translation. You’ll gain valuable information to help you build a strategy for mobile user assistance that meets your customers’ needs.
Reflecting on a Decade of DITA: What I’d do differently
Recorded: July 19, 2012
Contemplating a move to DITA or just getting started? Join me in a discussion about our company’s migration to DITA and an in-house CMS. We’ll talk about our management and writer challenges through the process, what we’ve learned over the past ten years, and how we’d handle things differently if we had a chance to do it again. I’ll also share items that impacted budget, ROI, efficiency and effectiveness. Our goal is to arm you with knowledge of migration snares that can be avoided.
The DITA Learning Specialization in Practice
Recorded: June 28, 2012
Are you a technical writer wondering about leveraging the DITA Learning Specialization for your training content? Are you a training professional looking to move into the structured authoring space, but not sure what it means? As a global digital educator, managing content is a critical part of CSI’s business, and the DITA Learning Specialization is the lynchpin in our content management strategy. This presentation describes CSI’s integrated approach to adopting DITA in the real world of financial training.
Topic-based publishing approach adopted by Juniper Networks
Recorded: May 31, 2012
At Juniper, our model in a true topic-based publishing paradigm is to have a single rendition of the topic on the web, thereby giving it a fixed URL. All information products (e.g., books) on the web should point to the same instance of the topic rather than republishing it as part of its delivery. We demonstrate and brainstorm the value proposition of such an approach.
- We’ve used xml to move to more semantic tagging.
- We’ve adopted topics to do modular writing.
- We’ve embraced DITA to lead us to do topic-based authoring.
- And we’d like to demonstrate Juniper’s model to do topic-based publishing!
Handling Warnings in User-Friendly Documentation
Recorded: September 8, 2011
Join Marie-Louise Flacke in this CIDM webinar to understand the problems associated with the current practices in writing warnings, cautions, and other safety hazard statements in customer documentation. Writers, and their legal advisors, tend to add dozens of safety messages and heavily formatted risk warnings in procedures.
DITA and XLIFF: The perfect marriage gets stronger
Recorded: August 25, 2011
The addition of DITA into the mainstream for documentation is causing exciting advances in the way information is authored, organized, accessed, shared, and published. For the first time, a system for topic-based publishing exists that is supported by tools, best practices, and user communities. One of the exciting ROI factors people consider is the savings in translation. But often, that savings is difficult to find due to the paradox. The paradox is that DITA is very strong because it lets authors create, manage, reuse, and publish 10s, 100s, 1000s of topics. However managing the translation of 10s, 100s, 1000s of topics adds unexpected overhead to the translators. Enter XLIFF. XLIFF is also an OASIS open standard. It is the open standard for Localization and Translation interchange. Attend this presentation and demonstration to see how XLIFF solves the paradox.
Are You Ready for the New Information Revolution? New Frontiers for Multilingual Web Analytics, SEO and Community Sentiment Analysis
Recorded: July 21, 2011
This talk will present some new ideas which are going to revolutionize information development in the 21st Century. Companies are moving quickly away from traditional documentation strategies towards an approach based on three main principles: customer focus, customer engagement and customer involvement.
DITA Metrics in Production: How, when, where and why (and how much?)
Recorded: June 16, 2011
Using metrics for DITA is a common topic when it comes to figuring out the Return on Investment numbers to justify buying a Content Management System, but what about when you already have the CMS and want to measure how productive your writing team is? AMD’s Documentation & Localization Manager, Keith Schengili-Roberts has been using a DITA CMS for four years and will go over the types of metrics he uses to measure the productivity of his team. He will also look at how to measure re-use rates, the relative benefits of using segmentation numbers vs. topic counts, and looking at how to improve quality through metrics. This talk is aimed particularly at managers who are seeking additional tools for making effective decisions in deploying their DITA writing staff.
Ensuring Consistency with Map and Topic Templates
Recorded: April 28, 2011
In this session, Helen & Julia share their process for developing templates and their internal DITA procedures guide. They show how they rolled them out across the entire team.
Solving the Problems of Release Management
Recorded: January 20, 2011
Join CIDM members in an open discussion of the problems of release management in a content management environment.
Recorded: September 30, 2010
If used properly, DITA is a powerful, comprehensive, and flexible standard that allows organizations to better use and reuse their structured content—and reduce costs in the process. But the comprehensiveness and flexibility of DITA can easily result in ugly DITA and a frustrated experience. In this presentation, Sheila and Marc share their recommendations from a DITA pilot project undertaken at STMicroelectronics. Sheila and Marc provide valuable insight in how to avoid and overcome problems resulting from the DITA content model, stumbling blocks in content reuse, unexpected print quality issues, adoption resistance, and implementation difficulties.
Never Waste a Good Crisis
Recorded: August 25, 2010
Layoffs. Unplanned employee turnover. Hiring freezes. Missed deadlines. Looming workloads. Impossible schedules. As painful as crises are, it’s often easier to make needed changes in response to crises than at other times. Learn how one manager got approval to add personnel in the middle of a reduction in force.
DITA vs. Non-Technical Authors: Why and how?
Recorded: August 11, 2010
This session will show approaches to have non-technical authors directly write DITA content including improving discovery of available tags, preventing abuse of tags for styling, and promotion of inline tagging.
WinANT—Simplifying and Automating DITA Publishing
Recorded: June 16, 2010
In this session, WinANT’s developer demonstrates this open source tool, and describes the ways it can be “fine-tuned” to streamline DITA publishing.
Content for Tomorrow: Social Media and the Dilemma for Content Teams
Recorded: February 25, 2010
Abstract: Social networking, social media, and other Web 2.0 technologies have changed the way that companies communicate to and exchange information with their customers. What experiments and big bets are content teams making to embrace these changes? Are we falling behind, leaping ahead, or just trying to keep stride with the complex possibilities we offer? This session provides ideas, guidance, and insights into how Microsoft and other web properties, user assistance, and information and publishing efforts are being designed to connect with customers in this new world.
Planning Collaborative Work so that Teams Remain Efficient
Recorded: October 22, 2009
Abstract: Is the refrain, “Who has time to plan?” familiar in your organization? Do authors maintain that working on their own is the only surefire way to be efficient? Do they claim that working in XML takes more time? Struggling with writers over project planning and coordinating activities is not a new problem. Nor is it unusual to hear protests about authoring tools. Documentation managers are all too familiar with authors skipping the planning process, owning complete documents, and detecting flaws in the tools. But single sourcing complexities only invigorate these struggles. From information modeling and metadata to figuring out how to map, share, and optimize content, single sourcing fundamentals—both planning and collaborating—can add overhead to projects. Despite apparent inefficiencies, effective planning and collaborating can optimize reuse and impact ROI. This session provides various approaches to effective planning and collaborating to ensure reuse efficiency.
Lessons Learned: Documentation and Courseware Working Together
Recorded: March 19, 2009
Abstract: Traditionally, documentation and courseware have been authored separately with little shared planning or content development. However, the overlap of both customer needs and topics is often significant. This presentation provides lessons learned from a team that is bringing together the planning and content sharing for documentation and courseware.
In establishing our vision, we reinforce the commonality between courseware and documentation by defining common objectives and targeting consistent messages to our audience. Key strategies include a change in the way we think about our information model, a content management system, and a new organization for our documentation and courseware writer teams. Shared content implementation requires developing collaborative activities between documentation and courseware writers and creating a writing strategy to merge existing content.
Many challenges continue to present themselves, but we find solutions to most of them. Understanding lessons learned helps us to continually improve our process and organization. Getting documentation and courseware working together is proving very successful and customers will soon reap the benefits of improved content across all our deliverables.