Getting Started with DITA

ACS Technologies, which provides software and services to churches, schools, and childcare centers, recently adopted DITA to ensure that content creation processes could scale as the company develops new products. To help mitigate risk and stay within budget, ACS took a gradual, phased approach to migrating from a wiki-based content development workflow to a DITA environment.

This case study focuses on the challenges that the core team of content creators faced as they adapted to DITA. What improvements have been made by moving to DITA, and what were the biggest stumbling blocks along the way? What do the content creators wish they had known going in, and how do they plan to use what they have learned going forward?

What can the audience expect to learn?

This session will use real-world experience to help companies who are considering DITA understand the realities of implementation. Some of the lessons learned include:

  • Creating a content strategy to address current restraints in content development and plan for improvements to ensure that the company could meet its goals
  • Balancing content modeling requirements with a timeline for DITA conversion set by stakeholders in the organization
  • Ensuring collaboration among departments who contribute to the content lifecycle (such as front-end designers and back-end architecture developers)
  • Allocating resources to keep a DITA implementation moving in the face of unexpected change within the organization

Meet the presenter

Barbara Green is responsible for the overall strategy, design, and delivery of content for ACS Technologies’ cloud-based services and solutions. She’s held various roles at ACST since 2005, including Sr. Technical Writer, Manager of Information & Design, and Content Lead. Most recently, she’s advanced the technical writing internship program between Francis Marion University and ACS Technologies. She’s also taken the lead in launching a successful, content-first initiative that encourages collaboration between writers and UX designers. She is married, and a mom to two great kids and two needy cats.


Gretyl Kinsey develops content systems at Scriptorium Publishing, where she has been a technical consultant since 2011. She leads complex content strategy projects for companies in a variety of industries, including education, life sciences, finance, and high tech. As an experienced interviewer and researcher, she identifies content problems, recommends solutions, and builds business cases to support them. Gretyl also creates courses for the open-source DITA training project at and has been a driving force behind this resource since its inception. She gives presentations on DITA, content strategy, and other industry topics for conferences, webcasts, and podcasts. When she’s not at work, you can find her cosplaying at comic conventions.

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