Making the Right Business Case for DITA and Getting It Approved

Too often information development takes a proverbial backseat to other projects and priorities from the business perspective. While we all understand and believe in the critical importance of providing information to the end user, we have to make a near perfect business case in order to achieve our ultimate goals.

In this presentation I’ll demonstrate how to build a business case to both, win the support from the team and more importantly get the support of the executive team in order to get the necessary budget to implement DITA. While every situation is different, I’ll present best practices and help define a template that can be easily customized to every company and situation. This presentation will show how to define your goals, win support from within your team and then based on quantifiable and prioritized analysis to engage company leadership to get your budget approved.

This is a compelling story of how NextGen User Assistance realized that while we were performing well currently, to thrive in the future we must fundamentally change our organization by adopting an enterprise-wide DITA-based content architecture, common processes, and a single toolchain and most importantly how to build the best business case for it.

I’ll show how we did this by presenting our actions as a flexible but repeatable process, including:
* Performing initial research and analysis
* Working with vendors to identify the best approach and complete gap analysis
* Educate your team and win their support for moving to DITA
* Working all levels of management to review and iteratively improve your proposal, making the business case better
*Finally getting to present and win your case with the executive team

What can the audience expect to learn?

While every company is different, there is a set of best practices and core concepts that can be applied to make the best business case for each member of audience. This presentation can be a template that can be easily customize and applied by everyone.

Meet the presenters

As a director of user assistance at NextGen, Vlad’s focus is on developing and implementing a content strategy designed around principles of minimalism, user-centered design, and DITA. Vlad led his team to successful implementation of DITA and git/oxygen toolchain last year (2019) after working hard with outside vendors and his executive team to establish the correct business case to get the necessary approval to start the journey of implementing the DITA based eco-system.

A writer by trade, Vlad has been building and leading teams for the past 10 years across multiple product lines, locations and continents.


Frank Miller is Founder, President, and Principal at Ryffine. He has been serving in the structured content industry since 2005, working closely with information development professionals to transform their content and their organizations.

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