The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Susanna Carlisi

With over 25 years of experience in the technical communications field, Susanna Carlisi is the Lead Content Strategist for the Global Product Documentation group at Ciena. After starting her career as an information developer, she moved into template design and single-sourcing processes, ultimately becoming Ciena’s first Product Documentation Content Strategist.

She led the transition to DITA authoring at Ciena, including creating content models, reuse strategies, templates, and EDDs. She also led the implementation of a CCMS, defining the governance, content organization, release management, and translation strategy. In her spare time, you can find her walking her Golden Retriever, Hershey, making jewelry, or reading.

Ciena’s Journey to consistent Product Documentation using Controlled Language

Co-presented with: Torsten Machert of Congree & Robin Melanson of Ciena

With an XML-based CMS, Ciena achieved one important goal: the content structure became consistent and independent from the author. The challenge was now to make sure that the writers use the correct language and terminology consistently across different locations and time zones. We sought a way to create high-quality information that is optimized for translation and improves the user experience.

Hiring a bevy of editors is not the answer for everyone! At Ciena, we learned to leverage our style guide and terminology throughout the writing process. Following a similar process, you can free up editors’ time for high-level tasks.

In this session, attendees will learn:

In this session, attendees will learn Attendees will learn how Ciena is boosting the impact and reach of our terminology and style rules across multiple product lines. In this session, we will focus on Ciena’s approach towards linguistic quality and terminology, leveraging semantic elements when possible:

• Establishing goals and expectations for the project

• Defining style guides as the corporate language for Ciena

• Extracting terms as the basis for a corporate vocabulary

• Sharing lessons learned in the curation of the terminology

• Completing the Congree Authoring Server implementation
– Proof-of-concept phase
– Admin training sessions
– User training sessions