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Tool Chains, Processes, & Consultants?

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  • Cheri Mullins
    We are in the phase of analyzing how to move from traditional to structured. I m interesting in finding out what other folks have done. I m looking for what
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 8, 2008
      We are in the phase of analyzing how to move from traditional to
      structured. I'm interesting in finding out what other folks have
      done. I'm looking for what complete tool chains folks have
      implemented, what (big picture) processes they have used, and what
      consultants they have hired to help.

      We have tentatively decided to continue using FrameMaker, but switch
      to Structured FrameMaker 8.0 as our authoring tool in order to keep
      at least part of the current process the same for our authors. I'm
      working on getting all of our primary documents on the same template
      to facilitate conversion. Simultaneously, I'm developing taxonomies
      for our data.

      What has everyone else done? Or what are you doing?

      Thanks,
      Cheri
    • Bob Beims
      Cheri; You re asking the $64,000 question. Actually, depending on the size of your company the price tag could significantly exceed that amount. ;^) Before I
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 8, 2008
        Cheri;

        You're asking the $64,000 question. Actually, depending on the size of
        your company the price tag could significantly exceed that amount. ;^)

        Before I give you my "answer" I'll suggest that the best forum to
        satisfy your query will be our next CTDUG meeting; which as I
        understand it will be a social / networking event like last month's
        rather than a sit-down-and-listen-to-a-presentation format.

        My "answer" as to what we did:

        I - vetted seven potential consulting companies. All had their
        strengths and all were very capable, but we chose one (whom shall
        remain unnamed) due to their "fit" with our needs at the time. They
        did a great job for us.

        II - spent weeks (er, months) gathered tons of requirements regarding
        internal processes and customer deliverable needs.

        III - matched our requirements against the thousands of tools on the
        market (most of this leg work was done by our consulting partner).

        IV - executed a proof-of-concept pilot to test if our first findings
        were accurate (again, with most of the work done by the consultant).

        V - vetted 6 CMS vendors and 4 authoring tools against our requirements.

        VI - purchased the tools ... customized them as needed ... did a bunch
        of pilot projects, and went "live" with the tool chain last week.

        You'll note I've stayed very vague in my descriptions of what we've
        done, because I haven't seen any two company situations that are
        similar enough to justify using the same solution for both. So read
        all of the white papers / case studies you have time for, ask lots of
        questions ... but in the end your solution will be unique to your
        situation.

        Regards,
        Bob

        --- In ctdug@yahoogroups.com, "Cheri Mullins" <cherimullins@...> wrote:
        >
        > We are in the phase of analyzing how to move from traditional to
        > structured. I'm interesting in finding out what other folks have
        > done. I'm looking for what complete tool chains folks have
        > implemented, what (big picture) processes they have used, and what
        > consultants they have hired to help.
        >
        > We have tentatively decided to continue using FrameMaker, but switch
        > to Structured FrameMaker 8.0 as our authoring tool in order to keep
        > at least part of the current process the same for our authors. I'm
        > working on getting all of our primary documents on the same template
        > to facilitate conversion. Simultaneously, I'm developing taxonomies
        > for our data.
        >
        > What has everyone else done? Or what are you doing?
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Cheri
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