You've probably read articles or papers that proclaim the benefits of moving your content to DITA: accuracy, consistency, increased productivity, reduced authoring times, etc.
But you need to know by how much. How much savings? How much increased productivity? How much for YOUR project, YOUR content? What is YOUR project going to cost with DITA and content reuse? How do you track the success of the project? Because yours is different from everyone else's.
DITA Metrics 101 can help you answer those questions.
Follow the steps in this book to create custom models that estimate the cost of your content in DITA and the cost of your new processes that support the DITA content lifecycle. Then, use these models to predict the cost of your documentation project. Compare your current costs to your costs using DITA. That difference is your savings and you'll likely find that this number alone can be used justify to justify switching to DITA and structured content.
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By Joseph Campo
Nov 11, 2013
I was searching for ideas about what metrics I could gather, using our DITA XML CMS, and also Google Analytics, to build a business case supporting Documentation value. I was therefore disappointed that this book focuses solely on reuse in building a business case. We already are familiar with writing for reuse, reusing topics and smaller segments, and particularly the translation aspect of reuse savings. It seems we are doing everything recommended by the author as far as reuse. If you are looking for other ideas besides "reuse content as much as possible" do not bother buying this book. I also found the charts used to be a bit confusing because column totals do not add up because of the layout. There are also references to spreadsheets throughout, but I could not find where these spreadsheets live online, which increased the frustration level.
The translation process in DITA Metrics 101 is accurate and easy to follow. The translation production costs, per word average costs and time projections are current and dead on. The book reveals a good model to use for factoring translation dollar savings relative to maximizing TM (Translation Memory) content reuse with language pairs. Though, the greater value is the insight on factoring time savings overall which means getting to global markets quicker. That's covered later in the "Supporting the business plan" chapter. The book’s underlining message is that by utilizing the DITA format, you are in control vs. the translation vendor. I like this book! Scott Carothers Kinetic.theTechnologyAgency
If you work in an environment where decision-makers absolutely need metrics before they'll consider any change, this is the book for you. There are all sorts of formulas to figure out ROI. No matter which way you're required to slice and dice your data, there's bound to be something in the book you can use. What I discovered was that there are metrics I hadn't even thought of, and Lewis has provided the calculations to carry them out. This is going to be a valuable book for me, as a consultant, in projecting ROI calculations for client projects.
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