DITA content strategy
How can you implement DITA content strategy? Is DITA itself a content strategy?
The answer is a resounding no. DITA is an architecture. DITA and content strategy are related, but “we use DITA” is not a content strategy. The content strategy process goes something like this:
- Identify your business goals. (Examples: “efficiently create information required by our regulators to sell our product” or “increase market share in Europe”)
- Based on your business goals, establish a content strategy. (Example: “deliver content in local language for European markets at the same time English is ready”)
- Based on the content strategy, establish requirements for your content lifecycle.
- Identify the constraints.
- Based on the requirements and constraints, identify a solution for developing, deploying, and delivering your content. (DITA is a possible solution.)
Although I strongly encourage you to start with strategy, I do know that DITA is a strong contender if you have the following requirements:
- Topic-based authoring
- Lots of output formats
DITA has advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few:
DITA is a good fit for typical technical communication requirements. It is an open standard and has significant vendor support.
For many organizations, DITA is a huge change, so we have change management concerns. There are also writing challenges (modular content is harder than you might think) and technical challenges. The technology stack required to get output from DITA is not for the faint of heart.
Is DITA right for you?
It might be. It might not be. Before asking about DITA content strategy, make sure that you have built your content strategy requirements. Need help? Contact us.
I did a DITA Content Strategy webcast as part of the 2013 easyDITA RockStar Summer Camp series.
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