A day in the life of an editorial department
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A day in the life of an editorial department

In 2015, the SIEMENS AG Locomotive Documentation department wanted to introduce a Component Content Management System (CCMS) to optimize its editorial process and chose COSIMA go! from DOCUFY. In this article, system administrator Tobias Zieringer describes the introduction of the system:

… I had only just arrived in the office when my mobile rang. The sales department wanted to know when the documentation for our new customer would be ready, oh, and they needed replies to the review comments from last week as soon as possible.

My colleague gave me a questioning look: “How will we have time to introduce a new CCMS? What are the aims of the new system? Should we choose an off-the-shelf product, or start from scratch? And how does publication configuration even work?”

“Enough questions, let’s just get started,” I replied: “There no such thing as the perfect moment!”

First we had to explain our plans to DOCUFY’s employees. Rail vehicles have very complex documentation requirements – along with numerous norms and regulations, a number of internal guidelines have to be taken into account. And our customers understandably want a touch of individuality.

My mobile rings again…

“…the DOCUFY employees are waiting for you at reception,” announces a voice.
Several hours later, both sides are satisfied with the results, and we have a general plan:

  1. We are going to use the COSIMA go! CCMS, but with a number of specific adaptations. Why? We don’t need to reinvent the wheel when we can use an existing, tried-and-tested system!
  2. Rather than traditional framework documents, we want to use the publication configurator from the very start. Of course, COSIMA lets you put together documents from topics using drag-and-drop, and filter individual manuals from master documents. But the publication configurator allows fully automatic, product-specific documentation to be generated based on the product configuration.

PI-Fan, here we come!

However, before we could really get started, we had to classify our content. We decided to use Professor Ziegler’s PI Classification method. As mentioned above, we had to consider a number of factors that did not neatly fit the familiar examples (PI-Fan) from the PI Classification. Several times we had to take a step back and sleep on it. We soon noticed that the process was much easier when started by classifying just a small part of the overall documentation. Then, as a second step, that classification was extended to the rest of the documentation. That allowed us to successfully create a PI Classification.

Finished!

“There’s no question,” I told my colleague, “that a hot swap, or switching over during ongoing operations, raises numerous questions and involves a range of tasks. But choosing COSIMA go!
answered a lot of our questions, which allowed us to focus on our specific requirements for possible extensions”:

  • Automatic reuse:
    No problem, thanks to the publication configurator!
  • Ready for multi-level documentation and industry 4.0?
    Absolutely! Thanks to the publication configurator with PI Classification and our COSIMA go! with TopicPilot interface
  • Numerous output formats in the Siemens corporate design
  • Automatic creation of maintenance plans, amendment directories and reference document directories etc.
  • Plus: A translation interface to the Siemens Global Translation Service

Implementation period (specification to go-live): Nine months

And, before my mobile rings again, I start to reply to the review comments.

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Tobias Zieringer

Tobias Zieringer is responsible for the customer documentation project in the SIEMENS AG Locomotive Documentation department.

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