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.
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.
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.”