Taj Whitesell, CIDM

We are very excited about all the superb submissions we received for this year’s Rare Bird Award.

to this year’s winner of the Third Rare Bird Award


“Total Information Experience: Defining an IBM-integrated approach to developing information in a flat world, via effective global collaboration”
Submitted by Eileen Jones and Dave Peterson.

By creating an internal and external customer-driven collaboration process to define, deliver, and implement common tools/technologies and consistency standards, the IBM Corporate team was able to save IBM more than $100 million dollars and increase their customer satisfaction by 71% in three years. The framework they have built grounds all their activities in focusing on their internal and external global customers. In addition, this framework provides a high-level game plan for their key technologies (e.g., DITA, Eclipse), tools (e.g., authoring, content management), processes (e.g., portfolio management, development) and information standards (user experience, information architecture, quality and infrastructure).

A Special THANK YOU!
To those who submitted their Best Practice for consideration.

Here are brief descriptions of each of the submissions received:

Research In Motion – Submitted by Scott Wahl
“Publications Content Management System”

RIM has implemented a publications content-management system (PCMS) based on XML/DITA. The system was implemented as an innovative application of technology to reduce costs, improve productivity, and increase service levels. It has reduced translation costs by over 50%. PCMS currently contains 1500 topics, in 7 languages; by year end it will contain 5000+ topics, with a subset of those in 15 languages. PCMS has been used to publish complete documentation for key projects, including Help on BlackBerry devices.

Symantec – Submitted by Elizabeth Anders
“Unified Content Strategy”

The Symantec unified content strategy (UCS) initiative combines both process improvement and a technology stack that includes machine editing and translation, xml authoring, and content management to facilitate high levels of reuse and lowered production costs.

Jack Henry and Associates – Submitted by Buddy Lee
“Dare to DAR”

The Documentation Action Request (DAR) system is the customers’ avenue for direct communication with Jack Henry technical writers. The user simply clicks a hyperlink – they appear on almost every page of the documentation – and she is taken to an HTML form. By making a few selections in drop-down menus and typing a description of the request or suggestion, the user can quickly send a message to the specific writer responsible for that topic in the documentation.

Sybase – Submitted by Lisa Quan
“Sybase Pubs Ops: A Model for Centralized Production”

Publications Operations (Pubs Ops) is a small, centralized team that provides QA and production services for all documentation deliverables for Sybase, Inc. Writers complete the authoring process and then hand off their documents to Pubs Ops. The centralized production process lets writers focus on research and development and leaves the production and publishing functions to the experts.

The Raymond Corporation – Submitted by Charlie Dowdell
“O to XML Without the Whiplash”

The Raymond Corporation has developed an almost totally automated process to transform legacy unstructured Framemaker files to structured Framemaker files, XML, and then PDA-based output. There is no need to re-author or extensively rework the existing legacy materials. The process first converts the legacy file with custom scripts and conversion tables to produce a very sophisticated XML file and then to the PDA-based output from the XML files.

Thank you again to those who submitted. We encourage all others who might be interested in submitting in the future to visit our Rare Bird information page.