On 27 January, a DITA day was organized by tekom France. The day consisted of presentations in the morning and a workshop in the afternoon. Componize supported the day by providing the DITA overview presentation, and the trainer and tools for the afternoon hands-on workshop.

The three presentations in the morning considered DITA through a three prism: the standard point of view, the practical implementation point of view, and the documentation manager point of view.

Sixty-five percent reuse, 20+ pages reduced to 1…

The audience was mainly started with DITA, interested in the open standard itself, the advantages derived from an implementation, but also interested on the business aspects of the implementation.

With a mix of authors, consultants, and documentation managers, these questions were raised and hopefully answered during the DITA day.

It is worthwhile downloading the presentations delivered but there were major takeaways during the morning:

  • During the DITA introduction, it was reminded that DITA was not a tool but also an international open standard, and as such, a safe, open, and stable format to store information. The presentation also covered project overview on top of DITA basics.
  • In Small team DITA for big business, Sarah Rosen provided a series of indicators which measured the technical authoring team success in implementing DITA. The most striking was a two man/day per month saved for each of the five project managers – totaling 10 man/day. The documentation reuse is around 65%, and culminating to 80% in some cases.

“[…] saves 2 workdays/month x 5 Project Manager = 10 d/m”

  • Aurélia Sarnowski focused on the design and success of proof of concepts during her presentationDITA Pilot Project: A key success factor for your migration. As a Documentation Manager, she proved it is worthwhile investing in a pilot project and how to liaise with management. Interestingly, her team switched first to minimalism and, to provide feedback to management, reduced a 22-page document to one page.

Topic-based writing and creating DITA XML topics

The hands-on session raised interesting discussions between the technical writers present in the room about the definition of a topic and where the structure would stand during migration. The workshop included hands on exercises where the trainees migrated a PDF guide.

In the course of the workshop, the trainees decided how the proposed information could fit in topics and created their new DITA XML topics using Componize Author online. The result was aggregated in a map and published to PDF.

Additional information and contacts

Download the presentations on Tekom site
 @tekom_europe, see #tekom_eu