Sharepoint and the IPMM

I’m currently part of a cross company initiative (started at the grassroot level) that is aiming at improving our product based information, making the messaging more consistent and ensuring that our customers hear get the information they need, at the time they need it. This is from Marketing down through Sales and into the product documentation itself. Everyone involved understands the benefits and can see the potential we have if we take this approach. Ultimately it should decrease the information silos across the company and make sure that duplicate content is kept to a minimum. It’s fair to say that, at present, our company is at Level One (with Level Two pretensions) on the Information Process Maturity Model: “Information developers …

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Revision Control

Prompted by an excellent article – Subversion for writers – I thought it might be useful to offer a Windows view. Like most software groups, our development team use a version control system to manage multiple versions of the product; we have customers using many previous versions and all are maintained in the same system so we can patch fixes back through multiple versions. Our team of writers use the same system, although as we are using FrameMaker we lose some of the nicer features but the core reasons for using a version control system remain – files are locked by whoever is working on them, and we have a full version history of changes made, including when, who and …

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DITA is not the answer

Single sourcing is good, I’m sure most of us can agree on that, but I’ve recently been wondering if perhaps DITA isn’t quite good enough? The thing is, I’ve been looking at DITA as a solution for our single sources needs for a while now. I’ve attended conferences, read whitepapers, listened to vendors and everything else that goes with it and I’ve got a pretty good handle on things. If applied correctly the benefits you can gain are very large, although the same can be said of any other single source project, yet what seems to be consistently missing during all of these wonderfully theoretical discussions is the cost and impact of getting such a solution “applied correctly”. A key …

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