A Match Made in DITA

3M supports tens of thousands of products and systems ranging from simple to highly technical in nature. This means that technical content needs to be consistent, cohesive, and accurate so that it’s usable for customers. How is 3M managing this task? The company has started an initiative around digital transformation, placing more effort on automated processes that allow employees to create digital content more efficiently and put it online faster. This case study shows how 3M is moving to structured content using XML and DITA with tools such as Structured FrameMaker and Adobe Experience Manager XML Documentation.

During the pilot phase, one division at 3M partnered with Scriptorium to create automated outputs that would enable content creation with consistent formatting and digital publishing in less time. Working together, 3M and Scriptorium created document standards that can be used across the company. This result has helped communicate the value of expanding the pilot and partnership across 3M globally.

3M and Scriptorium have a shared future goal of creating automated outputs for cohesive and consistent content that meets the needs of all divisions and regions at 3M. In this future partnership, 3M and Scriptorium can re-leverage lessons learned during the pilot for a successful implementation, including issues related to content strategy, content history, and content design.

What can the audience expect to learn?

This case study will offer practical advice for starting a pilot project to demonstrate the need for widespread digital transformation. Attendees will learn what questions to ask before the pilot begins, ways to deal with unexpected challenges that arise, and how to learn from the pilot’s successes and mistakes before taking the project to a larger scale.

Meet the presenters

Gretyl Kinsey has been deploying content strategies as a technical consultant at Scriptorium since 2011. She develops content systems for companies in a variety of industries, including education, life sciences, finance, and high tech. 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 LearningDITA.com 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.


Teeghan Herian is a Technical Content Management Supervisor at 3M Company in St. Paul, MN. She has 15 years of content management experience in healthcare, manufacturing, software and engineering. She has led a content management system pilot at 3M and is playing an integral role in scaling it across the company. She has completed a B.S. in Biology from the University of MN Twin Cities and an M.S. in Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of MN Twin Cities.

⇐Return to Agenda