Presentations by Kristen Cokeley and Liz Fraley

You Don't Have to Build Software to Do DITA

Medtronic ENT deployed a brand-new DITA solution, employing all the traditional strategies and best practices for DITA such as specializing only where absolutely necessary and adopting minimalist approach to topic-based authoring. As a global organization, they had a lot of resources to draw upon when architecting their design.

In addition to all the standard reasons and benefits that DITA brings, they had two specific goals. First, they wanted to take control of content that had a complex organizational responsibility and ownership matrix. Several content components which have multiple uses in both customer documentation and federal filing; and, the authoring and ownership of this content belongs to different organizations in the enterprise at different times during the product lifecycle.

Second, they wanted to avoid customization wherever possible. Other divisions hadn’t managed to avoid building software tools or doing heavy customizations. Rather than developing extensive customizations to their content management system or to the tools that join different organizations and parts of the process, they applied methodologies from the disciplines of library science, change management, and process management. This approach not only had significant cost savings at implementation time, but it secured their system against lengthy and complicated upgrade cycles going forward as well.

In this presentation, they’ll describe their metadata content strategy for efficient content retrieval and the content management system that provided mechanisms out-of-the box to apply methodologies from these disciplines bodies of work to rigidly control their content and provide guarantees that met the stringent regulations that govern medical device companies like theirs.

About Kristen Cokeley and Liz Fraley
Medtronic, Single Sourcing Solutions

Kristen CokeleyKristen Cokeley, Medtronic Surgical Technologies, leads the Technical Communications group and has been one of the primary architects of their new DITA-based publishing system. At any given moment she can be found wearing the hat of DITA subject matter expert, editor, writer, or content librarian. She has spent the past 3 years braving the waves of regulatory writing in the Medical Device industry and before that 9 years in traditional software help writing for the Mortgage industry.

Liz Fraley

Before founding Single-Sourcing Solutions, Liz Fraley worked in both high-tech and government sectors, developing and delivering technical design and strategy of authoring and publishing solutions as a Single-Source/XML Architect/Programmer. For over a decade, she has architected and implemented the single-sourcing systems for government and high tech companies. Specializing in practical development and deployment, she is a strong advocate of designing architectures that directly improve organizational efficiency, productivity, and interoperability.

Liz presents regularly at industry and vendor conferences and is very active in the software engineering user communities: SF Bay ACM council member, SF Bay Arbortext PTC/User group charter member, and host of both a blog and a podcast that focus on strategies, skills, and resources for the user community. She holds degrees in Computer Science and English from the University of College Park and a Masters in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. She holds degrees in Computer Science and English from the University of College Park and a Masters in English from the University of Southern Mississippi.