• Recorded: March 28, 2018 As we look forward to the 2018 Content Management Strategies/DITA North America conference in April, we devote time to identify industry trends. We asked managers, information architects, writers, training developers, and more how they are addressing the challenges of meeting customer information needs. Dawn Stevens, President of Comtech Services and Mark Gross, President, DCL will walk us through the results of the 2018 Trends Survey, a study we have been conducting since 2012. With five years of data, we can trace the changes in how we think about developing and delivering content. Join DCL and Comtech Services as we review the results of the 2018 survey and compare it with past results. 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: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services and Mark Gross, Data Conversion Laboratory Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training. Mark Gross, President, Data Conversion Laboratory, is a recognized authority on XML implementation and document conversion. Mark also serves as Project Executive, with overall responsibility for resource management and planning. Prior to joining DCL in 1981, Mark was with the consulting practice of Arthur Young & Co. Mark has a BS in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from New York University. He has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business, the New School, and Pace University. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of automated conversions to XML and SGML.
  • Recorded: March 15, 2018 The OASIS DITA Adoption TC is pleased to announce Keith Schengili-Roberts presentation on DITA Worst Practices. While people are interested in hearing about successes, we can actually learn more from failure. Not only do we discover what not to do, but also how to avoid the circumstances that led to it. DITA Adoption Chairperson Keith Schengili-Roberts has seen a lot of good and bad things happen to DITA implementations over the years, and part of his job is to investigate what works, what doesn’t, and why. This presentation is designed as an instructive and humorous lesson on what *not* to do when implementing DITA within a documentation team. From constraints that went too far, management decisions that went awry to quixotic tool decisions, Keith will cover DITA tales that are both funny and horrifying. Listen to his best (worst) DITA practices! Presented by: The OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee Keith Schengili-Roberts, OASIS DITA Adoption Committee Chairperson / IXIASOFT Keith is a DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, DITA evangelist and technical writing nerd. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto's iSchool, and Durham College. He is also an active member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, and can often be found presenting at conferences, working with customers, and researching how DITA is being used and sharing those results with the DITA community. Keith's popular industry blog DITAWriter.com has become a focal point on DITA resources and best practices. Connect with Keith on Twitter @KeithIXIASOFT.
  • Recorded: February 27, 2018 Join us to learn how companies are using Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) as the single source to power their learning content, including leveraging learning objectives to drive personalized learning. Dawn Stevens, President of Comtech Services, and Amber Swope, President of DITA Strategies, are co-chairs of the Learning & Training OASIS subcommittee and will explain how DITA can provide the structured foundation for your learning initiatives. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services and Amber Swope, DITA Strategies Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training. Amber Swope is an internationally recognized expert on the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) who specializes in helping teams develop their information architecture and implement DITA. With over 20 years of experience in the information development field and 12 years of DITA expertise, Amber helps teams design and optimize their environments to improve efficiency and reduce costs. When she’s not busy helping to change the world with XML, she can be found playing soccer, walking her puppsters, and enjoying Portland, OR.
  • Recorded: February 26, 2018 Although you don’t need DITA to write according to minimalism principles and you can certainly take a non-minimal approach when writing in DITA, the two go together like chocolate and peanut butter. In this presentation, Dawn explores the relationship between DITA, minimalism, and other technical communication best practices, demonstrating how each aligns with and complements the other. She provides guidance for forming your DITA information model and authoring guidelines to reflect writing best practices while maximizing the benefits DITA offers. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services at LearningDITA Live 2018 Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training.
  • Say Yes

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    Recorded: January 30, 2018 Borrowing the title of Fisher and Ury’s popular work, this session suggests strategies and invites conversation around the challenge of negotiating with your business partners—no matter who they are in your organization. In today’s environment, our technical content organizations are continually asked to support additional services with fewer team members. But doing more with less simply isn’t always possible. Informing a business partner that you cannot support a request can spark a fraught conversation, but adding more to your plate might risk sending your team into overload. Even asking for trust in your decisions as the authority in your area can be tough. Yet these conversations don’t have to become uncomfortable, and can instead provide an opportunity for dialog leading to mutual gains. You can get what your team needs, draw boundaries, and inspire confidence at the same time. Within the context of technical content’s organizational position and business value, this session will cover core negotiation strategies that achieve win-win outcomes and how to avoid zero-sum exchanges. Since relationships are key, we’ll discuss how to identify allies and when to call on them. Finally, we’ll address the inevitable question of data—seemingly irrefutable information that can turn opinion into hard fact. Presented by: Jill Orofino, DellEMC California born and raised, Jill attended UCLA where she received her B.A. in English, and then pursued graduate studies at Boston University. Jill went on to teach at BU for seven years before moving into high tech. Technical content development, research and writing made up the most of Jill’s teaching experience. Jill loves to learn new things and help others reach their goals. Five years into her career in technical content, Jill assumed leadership of a technical writing team at a Boston start-up called Acme Packet. Management was another natural extension of teaching, championing staff members and motivating them. Jill started at EMC (now Dell EMC) about five years ago, bringing with her a focus on customer experience and a drive for simplicity. Jill led the global technical content teams that support core storage for four years before taking a role in Product Marketing. Jill is now exploring a new part of the content ecosystem and its relationship to the unified customer experience.

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