The Trouble with DITA: Improving DITA Satisfaction

Are you satisfied with your DITA implementation? If your answer is “No” then you are not alone according to a 2017 survey of more than 250 technical communication professionals conducted by The Content Wrangler. The DITA Satisfaction Survey indicates that 62% of respondents using DITA are—to varying degrees—dissatisfied. It’s not surprising that there’s significant dissatisfaction among those who have adopted DITA. After all, moving to DITA is a seismic shift in technical writing; a big change with many opportunities for things to go wrong.

This panel will look at the survey data to better understand where organizations are having problems and discuss strategies to mitigate many of these issues. We will focus on three fundamental areas causing dissatisfaction within the DITA community
1. skills development
2. technology
3. management

What can the audience expect to learn?

This session will look at the latest numbers from the DITA Satisfaction Survey and discuss any changes since the survey was first released in 2017. Several strategies for mitigating friction within DITA deployments will be discussed.

Meet the presenters

Rob Hanna

Rob Hanna co-founded Precision Content in 2013 to change the way writers approach structured authoring. Having spent more than decade helping organizations move to component content management, he realized that organizations need to take a step beyond technology and expert consultants. Without fostering the necessary standards and skills to work in this new media, organizations would continue to stall in their attempt to move to structured authoring. With this knowledge, he developed the Precision Content® methods, tools, and training. Today, Rob and his team of experts help Precision Content clients make the move to structured authoring as seamless as possible.

Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson has spent more than 19 years working on SGML/XML publishing tools at IBM; 15 of those years have been spent primarily with DITA. For most of that time, he has contributed to and helped lead the open-source DITA Open Toolkit project. Robert is co-editor of the DITA 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 specifications, making him one of those rare developers who has to use the tools that he supports. If you’re not careful, he will tell you (and show you!) how he uses DITA to publish his music collection and book library.


As Sr. Manager Content Management for Amazon seller support, Megan Gilhooly leads the editorial and publishing team for content assisting sellers on all global Amazon sites. Prior to Amazon, Megan was Director of Information Experience at Ping Identity and, before that, Director of Technical Communications at INVIDI Technologies. Throughout her career, Megan has served as employee and consultant to various software companies, building technical communications products and processes. As a former online retail business owner and Certified Scrum Master, Megan brings a unique perspective to managing information development and communication teams. She has a BA in Speech Communication, an MS in Journalism, an MS in Strategic Management, and a Masters Certificate in Technical Communication.

Stan Doherty

Stan Doherty lives in the the Boston area and has worked in the industry for thirty years as a technical publications manager, information architect, and DITA evangelist. Currently Stan manages the information architecture team at Oracle Corporation and shapes its content strategy, collaboration strategies, and total information experience initiatives. Stan also is active in standards development, serving as a voting member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee and secretary to the OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee, and the Lightweight DITA subcommitee. Stan remains active in both academia as a researcher/adjunct professor and in professional societies (STC, CIDM, ACM SIGDOC). If you have ideas about how to make your content more usable, maintainable, and delightful, please contact Stan at

Patrick Bosek

Patrick Bosek is a co-founder of Jorsek LLC, makers easyDITA. Since beginning with Jorsek LLC in 2005 Patrick, has worked on a wide range of projects all focused on improving authoring, production, and distribution of content. Most recently, his primary focus has been empowering the users of easyDITA and generally advancing the product documentation industry.

Patrick is a software industry professional specializing in developing, productizing, and solving problems with product content software. He is a highly skilled developer, thoughtful manager, passionate customer advocate.



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