Imagine there is a change in corporate design at your company. Maybe the change is only a general attempt to optimize existing layouts. Maybe it entails a completely new corporate identity with a new logo and different colors. Or maybe your company has a new division that makes new products. Any change, no matter what kind, will have a direct impact on your technical documentation. The cover page needs to be redesigned, and the way headers and footers look will change – as will headlines, safety notices and warnings. It is practical when technical writers can make these layout changes themselves, without any programming skills or troublesome extra work.
Hello TopicPilot Users (and Soon-to-be Users),
Searching and finding is exactly what TopicPilot was developed to do. Now you no longer have to start at the beginning every time you want to search for something. Faceted searches have always been a quick way of limiting the number of hits in TopicPilot. The solution also supports the use of QR codes and external links to help you access specific information quickly. Still, filtering can sometimes take a lot of time and effort.
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!”
Current trends like digitalization, industry 4.0, mobile computing, social selling and big data will influence the products of tomorrow and, ultimately, impact the future development of our entire society.
Technical documentation is not immune to these changes, of course. On the contrary – information is increasingly becoming the lubricant of our digital world, and who is better placed to provide it than the technical documentation sector? It now has a unique opportunity to leave behind its traditional wallflower image and become a major player in corporate structures.
How time flies! We spent months preparing for the tekom annual conference − the industry event for technical communication − and then the trade fair went by in a flash for us, the more than 4,000 visitors and approximately 170 exhibitors. The sheer speed made the three days of the fair from November 8−10 just that much more intensive. They were chock-full of important conversations, interesting talks, exciting industry news and a few amusing team moments.
What is DOCUFY Academy?
When I heard about a year ago that I was supposed to present DOCUFY Academy at the 2016 User Meeting, the first thing I thought was: “Academy? What Academy? There isn’t one yet. Are we supposed to come up with a whole new training program from scratch in six months’ time?”
But then everything started to fall into place. We got things coordinated with the project managers, the new website was ready to be launched, and the topics to be covered in the new courses took form. It was obvious that it would be impossible to create a perfect, complete training program in just a few months. Still, as we all know, the only way to get to a goal is to put one foot in front of the other: step one, step two, step three… And the goal? It’s our motivation to provide you, our clients and potential clients, with well-conceived, carefully selected, and practical information – and it always will be. In doing so, we want to ensure that your road to better, more up-to-date, more future-ready (Multi-Level) documentation is a smooth one.
I have a dream: that technical documentation will become the most important department at a company.
When I presented this dream during my opening speech at our 2016 DOCUFY User Meeting, the audience was exhilarated. But we all know what the reality of today’s documentation work looks like. The technical documentation department rarely has a lobby on the management board and is viewed by many as a mere cost factor that needs to be kept at a minimum. I remember making a visit to a large producer of household appliances. The technical writer there had managed to invite her boss to a meeting about their content management system. He opened the meeting with the words: “I personally think that technical documentation is superfluous. We only have a documentation department because we are required to by law.”
As a specialist for company and product positioning, claudiusbähr+friends helped DOCUFY develop its Multi-Level documentation strategy and translate it into communication initiatives. The one-and-a-half years in which we accompanied DOCUFY on this journey were exciting for us for two reasons:
- The time was quite simply right for Component Content Management to “take off.” The idea of liberating technical documentation content from its own limits of utilization was an answer to the fundamental challenges facing innumerable companies in the future. Discovering a market perspective of this caliber together with a visionary customer can feel a little like Christmas.
- The idea of Multi-Level documentation counts for nothing if there is no technical basis on which to implement it. But it was precisely this basis that was inherent to the DOCUFY product portfolio – in particular, due to the redevelopment of TopicPilot as a mobile publication platform. The strategic and creative task was getting to the heart of this using the term Multi-Level documentation, thereby helping DOCUFY to occupy its own market category.