What happens when one company acquires another? How do you merge departments, working practices, content? That’s the challenge that lies ahead for me as my company was recently acquired by Kana Software.

We are still in the midst of integration planning, figuring out how to take the best parts of both product sets forward, and I’ve started to look over the documentation created by our counterparts across the water. It’s immediately obvious that we will need to make some compromises. Firstly in tooling, we use Author-it they use FrameMaker, and then in style (both writing and content delivery).

We’ve been moving to a more article type deliverable, focussing on explaining the reasoning and thinking behind a product feature and only providing How To style information when needed. From what I’ve seen our counterparts, whilst they have a good mixture of information, they have a lot more in the way of How To style information.

We had already kicked off, shortly before the acquisition was announced, started an entire overhaul of the structure of our product documentation. The early results are looking good and should make the entire product information set much easier to use, and it’s been timely as it will allow us to be confident that the information we are taking forward is the best we have, is logically structured, well researched and written.

First things first though, and I’m setting up some calls to talk to them, to understand how they work day to day, why they made the decisions they’ve made and to explain the same from our side of things. Somewhere in the middle lies the future, the path forward to a combined set of product information.

It won’t be easy, we both come to these discussions with a large amount of information, but I know we are all up for the challenge!