DITA Reuse Metrics as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

By now it is well known that you can derive useful DITA production metrics. But measuring reuse in particular is tricky, since there are many ways to measure it. Do you measure reused topics between incremental versions of the same document or not? If a bookmap shares the same map as another, do you count the map along with all of its topics? And what about images—would you consider using your company logo and an illustration of a part for a product to be equivalent instances of reuse? Recently an IXIASOFT customer, Ericsson, approached IXIASOFT to create a function within their CCMS that enables them to establish a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for consistently measuring DITA content reuse across their company. This co-presentation with Sari Eklund, Information Architect at Ericsson, and Keith Schengili-Roberts, DITA Evangelist and Market Researcher at IXIASOFT will discuss the creation, rationale and use of two separate but complementary DITA metric methods that focus on content reuse.

What can the audience expect to learn?

One of the most challenging DITA production metrics to nail down is that of effective content reuse because there are several ways of measuring it. IXIASOFT has added a function for easily determining content reuse—the children intersection export feature—that can be replicated even by those who do not have IXIASOFT CCMS. The audience will also learn about the specific reuse metric KPI formula IXIASOFT created for Ericsson, as well as gain insight on how and why it was created and subsequently deployed within that firm. It is hoped that the information from this presentation, demonstrating two different but complementary ways of measuring DITA content reuse will stir discussion among technical documentation managers seeking effective ways of measuring content reuse at their own firms. The presentation also allows IXIASOFT to publicly reveal and discuss our own DITA content production statistics for comparison.

Meet the presenter

Sari is an Information Architect and System Manager at Ericsson. Sari has been part of Ericsson’s customer product information organization for almost 20 years and has a deep knowledge in the area. She has taken part in Ericsson’s DITA journey from the start and also in the first migrations to DITA at Ericsson. Main focus areas have been DITA Way of Working and aspects of measuring information reuse. Sari is very much involved in the information architecture, tools, requirements, and studies within the product areas. Reusing information in a structured way and being able to tailor the information for different needs are really giving new possibilities for delivering customer product information to our customers.


Keith is the DITA Evangelist and Market Researcher at IXIASOFT. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto’s School for Continuing Education. He is also the company’s liaison with OASIS, Chair of the OASIS DITA Adoption Committee, and an active member on both the DITA Technical Committee and the Lightweight DITA sub-committee. Keith can often be found presenting at conferences, researching how DITA is being used and sharing those results with the DITA community. Keith’s popular industry blog DITAWriter.com has become a focal point on DITA resources and best practices. Connect with Keith on Twitter @KeithIXIASOFT.

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