DITA: From “Do I?” to “Done It!”

This case study and demo showcases how documentation for one of the biggest auto manufacturers in the world was to migrated to DITA allowing for publishing of hundreds of manuals in over a dozen languages.

Vehicle documentation (owner’s manuals, user guides, quick reference guides, etc) are as crucial to a car as the brakes, engine, or chassis. Without these a car is not finished, and cannot be shipped and sold. Documentation failure can cost over $100,000 per MINUTE if it results in a line being shut down.

Learn about the journey and discovery of concerns, project scope definition and change, trials and tribulations of getting tools to do what was needed, and the net results. Along the way a component content management system, author tools, review processes, and much more had to be planned, tested, implemented, and supported.

A mix of live demo and discussion that should be entertaining and informative.

What can the audience expect to learn?

The presenters are dynamic, confident, open about what worked and didn’t, and very approachable. Attendees should be able to clearly see what worked, what didn’t, learn why, and avoid similar pitfalls in their path to structured content.
A tight time frame, a CCMS and toolset that didn’t deliver specifically what was needed, last minute consultations and changes from clients, reworking of the project several times, and a set of rushed calls and late nights culminated in results that showcase the best and worst of techcomm and related tools and processes.
Samples include automated publishing solutions, and a chance to see one source of content transformed to PDF, online formats, uploaded to a CCMS, and a complete workflow triggered for both local and remote reviews, publishing, and much more.
This showcases a project from start to end, and gives an honest assessment of the process used to get from no content, to finished professional manuals in a project that directly impacts the cars we drive today, and the vehicles and processes to document them in the future.

Meet the presenters

Bernard solves documentation-based problems and helps companies generate more revenue. He guides clients through the best processes to create, manage, and deliver content. Once content is delivered, he helps socialize the message, understand and act on feedback, and improve the process and workflow.

He is the founder of Publishing Smarter (www.publishingsmarter.com), an Associate Fellow of STC, and a Past President of STC. Bernard has helped hundreds of companies implement successful solutions. He is focused on publishing better, publishing faster, and publishing smarter.



Matthew is an experienced Operations Leader in all areas of content development and production processes with a demonstrated history of working in highly technical industry. With 20+ years of experience in after-sales publication development I’ve held positions in all levels of delivery from Author/Illustrator to Project/Program/Account leadership. Skilled in Negotiation, Problem Solving, Facilities, Budgeting, Business Planning, Business Development, Pricing Strategies, Operations Management, Customer Relationship Management, Quality, Program Management, and Training.

As a former ASE certified technician turned Publishing Specialist I’m a well-rounded and experienced business development professional who has championed new business acquisition and start-up as well as improvements in the efficiency and profitability of established business.

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