Collaboration and Instantiation: Engineering Content in DITA XML

AMD is an engineering company. Technical documents at AMD largely are written by engineers for engineers about engineering. However, even for such a tightly-defined target audience, it is possible to miss the mark when demand outstrips resources.

In order to meet increasing demands for new products, new releases, and customizations, AMD takes a modular and collaborative approach to product development. To be equally flexible in developing the information content that supports and documents their engineering products, AMD chose to implement DITA XML.

However positive engineers are about innovation overall, we all, nonetheless, tend to resist any changes that accompany innovation. And changes in documentation development can be difficult to sell in any case, particularly when the benefits of such changes can seem abstract. Benefits such as consistency, reuse, and even cost-savings aside, acceptance—or rejection—by the individual content authors is a critical factor for a successful implementation of new processes, tools, and technologies.

In the initiative to move to DITA XML, AMD has identified not only the big-picture benefits, but also some concrete advantages for content authors. Documents are changing from being created to being engineered, from being written by an author to being authored by collaboration. This presentation highlights some of the innovations—in both technology and approach—that AMD is implementing as part of the move to a sustainable, collaborative DITA XML model for engineering content.

Cheri Mullins
Cheri Mullins
Mullins Consulting at AMD