How would you approach this?

Dec 22, 2017

We have a client with a large volume of documentation who wants to look at the entire documentation, publication, SL training, reference PDFs, etc. as a process for points of integration and cost savings. Would you look at this as a content management issue, xml/DITA type issue (with common tags), LCMS, DB with js/xml or something different? Each approach would probably need a taxonomy/tags/search criteria. The end products are classroom manuals, PDFs, resource guides, SL online courses, job aids, etc.If you can chew on this over the holidays, I would appreciate it greatly. Our recommended approach will have a far reaching impact. Thanks for the brainpower.

1 Reply
Bob S

Hi David,

Sounds like quite a challenge.  Not sure if this will help, but here are a few thoughts to get started....

1) It's been an exceedingly rare situation where I've seen entities truly benefit from an LCMS approach. It's one of those things where the reality never lives up to the  promise of what "could be". The US Navy was the only entity I personally ever saw make this work... and that was because of the insane level of document/version control, meta-data tagging, and the like that went into all of their materials. There quite literally has to a department of folks doing nothing but this typically to make it worth it.

2) The pace of business today has increased dramatically and continues to accelerate. And most organizations (not all) are constantly evolving. That often means that the carefully orchestrated tagging/search scheme that's been pulled together is all but abandoned when the next leader(s) come in or the next business imperative arrives.  It's very hard to sustain this sort of thing unless there is a published,  and budgeted multi-year commitment to the effort.  It may be important to keep that in mind as you design a solution.

3) Now more than ever, less is more. Just in time. Just enough. Just right. So often stepping back from the mountains of content and looking at it from an end user needs-based approach can be helpful.   What is it most folks are going to need most of the time?    Build that, and hang the rest around it only as absolutely required - most folks will not ever go to the level 2 or level 3 resources....  ever.

Not sure if these broad points are useful, but hopefully they will spark some thinking for you at least.  Good luck!


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