Tweet Roundup: Arbortext User Meeting August 2010

Todd Nowlan on “Deploying and maintaining a large single-sourcing solution: Now what?” and understanding the complexity of this kind of solution and the benefits you get from moving to XML.

Here’s the tweet roundup for the Arbortext User Meeting for August 2010. The speaker was Todd Nowlan talking about “Deploying and maintaining a large single-sourcing solution: Now what?” As expected, it was a great presentation. As one attendee said his presentation was paced perfectly to allow everyone to understand the complexity of this kind of solution and the benefits you get from moving to XML.

If you want to see the original description, hop on over to the Arbortext PTC/User group August Meeting page to read the abstract. Or, if you missed it, watch the recording.

Also, if you want to hear more from Todd, he we posted an interview with him. He’s also a panelist on the upcoming webinar – “ROI of XML”.

#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: dancing that fine line between business requirement and the solution is an area that needs focus
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: even before implementing, we had a corporate course that talked about how use the system (overview, authoring)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: question: what kind of “homework” should we do before making a decision to leave traditional tools?
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: at one time we had 400 writers in the user community
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: .. and yet notwithstanding go out to meeting” Thucydides
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike…
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: down to one toolset and one process
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: enabled customer ability to search based on job function, metadata provided an extra dimention to content
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: enabled outsource partners to easily access source globally
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: implemented a robust metadata/taxonomy strategy
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: maximized our single-sourcing and reuse of content
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: improved our delivery for customers
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: improved our delivery channel agility
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: what we set out to do vs what we achieved? We did it all and more.
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: single sourcing systems the benefits far outweigh the costs
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Very low cost that a single-sourcing environment can be. A single system with a single CMS.
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: business support cost: ~5 people doing support to user community, as little as 2 people to maintain system
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: from a cost standpoint, infrastructure costs for us is around $150K (includes SW maintenance)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: communication with users, business stakeholders, and vendors is critical
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: the system as a whole was being used globally, so around the clock we had to be aware of changes/downtimes/etc
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: weekly change management meetings to review and approve required changes (inc server maintenance schedules)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: constant interaction with vendors is critical, understand (and *influence*) their future rollout plans
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: some projects had to go through architecture review board for approval
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: projects prioritized with business leaders
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: core team and/or IT scheduled to work: design, UAT, deploy; progress reports weekly with biz stakeholders
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: change management requests initiated and tracked as projects.
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Info Arch. team had representatives from each of the Business Units
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: standing committee for establishing writing guidelines and standards, focused on topic-oriented writing
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: profiles very powerful concept. Centrally controlled to get consistentcy acr organizations (req by high reuse)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: custom scripts to streamline and improve writer tasks added to Arbortext Editor’s UI (bulit-in)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: documentum/Arbortext editor – dtds/stylesheets download to desktop; patch upgrades w/instr. posted to server
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Largely, deployed to user desktops, citrix for users with performance challenges
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: could get separate files or merged/flattened file that would re-burst into the individ entities in CMS
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: about our CMS. It supported our ability to configure “publishables” or “deliverable” documents
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: it’s amazing how much DTD changes drives effort. It can impact all books, all organizations, all stylesheets
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Arbortext Styler with extensions had much faster compose times
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: went to Arbortext Styler with extensions — with PTC we had input into product direction
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: DTD development & matching stylesheets is a webinar topic of its own
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: hierarchical structures also give more common look & feel
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: hierarchical structures have more semantic meaning; less flexible but promotes consistent writing
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: downside later on, still need to do the work to go from “unstructred” to “structured” (no escaping it)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: we wanted people in the system first; we found this was successful
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: unstructured->docbook, topic-based->DITA; changing unstructured to structured can be a stumbling block
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: we took two pronged approach to accelerate data conversion and get in as fast as possible..
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: started with xsl-fo, large docs took (>1500pgs) took excessive amts of time to compose (sometimes hrs)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: we built an application on Arbortext Publishing Engine that did auto-output to 4 deliverables simultaneously
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: really gets you a lot of efficiencies
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: getting into the world of XML provides a tremendous amount of power over your content
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: “Before there were parsers, it was dark.” – Eric Hennum, DITA Architect. No truer statement was made.
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: be articulate in your UAT as a project on it’s own (for each component of the architecture)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: at one point, I was branded “XML evangelist” and that’s kind of what happens…
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: you’ll get more skillsets around a technology that is becoming very prevalent in the industry
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: keep users aware of “what’s in it for them”
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Even structured authoring in Frame can be different when you take the formatting part away from that..
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: keeping the pace of development is key to keeping the momentum going and migration of new groups in
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: prioritization of groups was based on prioritization of the development
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: setting clear acceptance criteria not only with user community, but with the leadership team as well
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Hit areas we never expected to see, all along the way, gaps appear when you do prototyping/UAT
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: UAT was something we focused on early on. Get key stakeholders involved in use casing, prototyping
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: getting more and more into the system..
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: getting them up to same level of capability, then extending, then refining formatting issues, then automating
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: first step was to get the techpubs in. They had the best/most informed view on structured authoring
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: we took the approach of prioritizing and grouping into phases, a very large project overall
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: DLM is a link repository to store links so reusable components get help for managing content and reuse
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: DLM to manage links b/c we have tremendous reuse going on w/in project and across project.
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: stored content in CMS based on configuration rules
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Didn’t use DITA – it was a timing thing. Focused on topic-oriented & at the time DITA wasn’t ready
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: came at it from an end-to-end solution standpoint
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: xml contains content and metadata leveraged throughout entire process (authoring/cms/delivery)
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: delivery: web portal, dvd, online (onproduct) help
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: Arbortext Editor, Publishing Engine, Dynamic Link Manager & Documentum
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: key requirement to reduce publishing time frame to hours rather than days
#arbortext #ptcuser T.Nowlan: optimize by going to XML-type, single-sourcing solution, topic-based information
#arbortext #ptcuser provide a scalable ECM environment that can handle- Large vol of info, multiple content types, global access
#arbortext #ptcuser get requirements signed off early on by business owners: A lot of communication involved up front
#arbortext #ptcuser Tracking to granular level makes sure your requirements are well understood (even if it’s a lot of work).
#arbortext #ptcuser the minute you deploy a new system, it becomes a legacy system.
#arbortext #ptcuser identify current-state business process, derive base requirements and trace them through tracability matricies
#arbortext #ptcuser for large program, get a variety of people involved for best success
#arbortext #ptcuser core business team (3) IT team (4) worked tightly together to develop the single-sourcing system -> ECMS was key
“Deploying and maintaining a large single-sourcing solution” Register & Sign in now! https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/987710090

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Author: Liz Fraley

Liz Fraley has founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries. https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethfraley/