Herding Cats: How F5 got SMEs to give up PDF reviews

Most companies using DITA author their content, and then export it for review in PDF or some other format. This method requires technical communicators to reconcile and implement suggested changes from various sources, be mediators when reviews conflict with each other, and generally stretches out the entire review process. In an age where companies are pushing products and changes to the market at breakneck speed, technical communication teams are more heavily taxed and under pressure to do more with less and faster.

But what if you could add efficiency to the review process and get everyone in your organization working from a single source of the truth (AKA working in a DITA CCMS)? This may sound unrealistic, but at F5, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

In this presentation, Tracy Baker, Principal Content Experience Developer at F5, and Stephani Clark, Head of Customer Success at Jorsek, will explain how they use easyDITA to facilitate an all-DITA online review process throughout the organization. F5 Networks has over 200 SMEs, including, developers, testers, support engineers, product managers and more, using this review process to maximize the efficiency of the documentation team. So how did they get there? We’ll focus on the key components, including both process and tools, to creating a fully collaborative environment for everyone involved in the content development process.

What can the audience expect to learn?

This presentation will outline the key components required to gain DITA adoption from the non-technical communicators that your organization relies on to contribute to and review documentation. We’ll focus on the barriers to collaboration and provide solutions that others can implement in their own organization to centralize their review process in DITA.

Meet the presenters

Stephani Clark is Head of Customer Success at Jorsek, the makers of easyDITA. She works to train and assist users of easyDITA’s software. Stephani is experienced in planning and overseeing DITA implementations and constantly works to identify ways to improve the customer experience.

Stephani lives in Rochester, NY with her husband and three-year old son. Stephani enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, traveling, and organizing anything and everything.

 

Tracy Baker is the Principal Content Experience Developer at F5 Networks. With over a decade of DITA experience, she is a content strategist well-versed in information architecture and user experience principles for technical communication/information development. Tracy is passionate about improving the customer content experience and helping others achieve their goals. She enjoys the challenge of optimizing processes and influencing change.

Tracy lives in Seattle, WA and enjoys planning her next travel adventure, time with family and friends, and all the outdoor options the Pacific Northwest offers.

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