How do I Pick the Right Tool for Me? [On-Line Event]

So many tools to choose from! So many messages from so many vendors.  Everyone saying they are the right one! One size does not fit all and one solution is not right for everyone! How could it?! How do you find the right one for you?

You need to be able to evaluate tools from a balanced, objective point of view. In this session, Liz Fraley will share strategies, benchmarks, and questions that she’s used (and seen used) over the years, so you will have something in your back pocket to help you choose the tool that’s best for you, your company, and your situation.

The truth is, no one really knows how to go through the tool selection process. They don’t always know where the biases or holes are or what to ask to find the hidden motivations. And the first thing everyone does is post a variant of this question on a mailing list, group, or in an email: “What is the best…” That question is great for retail products, but not so great when you’re looking at complex products that have a lot of moving parts, require teams to implement and enterprise support to purchase.

People always ask, “Liz, how do I choose?” She’s helped teams choose tools for small companies, big companies, and been on selection committees at giant global enterprises. There’s no one answer that’s the right answer for everyone. It depends on staff, resources, skills, and even company culture.

NOTE: Liz doesn’t mention any products in this presentation. This is the inside scoop about how sales works, how to work with them, and what you need to know to deploy/purchase something that requires more than just you to do.

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This session was also presented live at:

  • CM Strategies 2014
  • Lavacon 2014
  • STC Sacramento 2014
  • STC Summit 2016

You Don’t Have to Build Software to Do DITA [On-site event]

This is a success story. Medtronic ENT deployed a brand-new DITA solution, employing all the traditional strategies and best practices for DITA such as specializing only where absolutely necessary and adopting minimalist approach to topic-based authoring. As a global organization, they had a lot of resources to draw upon when architecting their design.

In addition to all the standard reasons and benefits that DITA brings, they had two specific goals. First, they wanted to take control of content that had a complex organizational responsibility and ownership matrix. Several content components which have multiple uses in both customer documentation and federal filing; and, the authoring and ownership of this content belongs to different organizations in the enterprise at different times during the product lifecycle.

Second, they wanted to avoid customization wherever possible. Other divisions hadn’t managed to avoid building software tools or doing heavy customizations. Rather than developing extensive customizations to their content management system or to the tools that join different organizations and parts of the process, they applied methodologies from the disciplines of library science, change management, and process management. This approach not only had significant cost savings at implementation time, but it secured their system against lengthy and complicated upgrade cycles going forward as well.

In this presentation, they’ll describe the content management system that provided mechanisms out-of-the box to apply methodologies from these disciplines bodies of work to rigidly control their content and provide guarantees that met the stringent regulations that govern medical device companies like theirs.

Presented:

  • CM Strategies, 2013
  • Lavacon, 2013
  • AMWA, 2016

Presenters

Kristen Cokeley, Medtronic ENT, leads the Technical Publications group and has been one of the primary architects of their new DITA-based publishing system.

Liz Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions, was the mentor and initial implementor for Medtronic.

View the slides