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Re: The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes
Subject:Re: The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes From:reshma pendse <reshma_pendse -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot- in> To:"McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:42:35 +0800 (SGT)
FWIW, maybe the request wasn't so far-fetched after all...
I actually got a somewhat similar request from our Professional Services team a while back. They wanted to know what tool (Flare, btw) we used to create our WebHelp and if it would be possible for them to customize the out-of-the-box help system. The requirement was for one of our clients who uses a highly customized version of our product, and also maintains an in-house Tech Writing team (yes, really!). Well, we collaborated on this with the client and they were able to customize our output using their own help tool and link the customized output to the application. All this without us having to share our source files or change our tool.
Perhaps, when we get such requests, we should try to find out what exactly they want to achieve, and then look for ways in which we can help meet that goal.
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, 13 June 2012 9:34 PM
Subject: The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes
I found the following, from somebody in our company in 2006:
"What I am really looking for is a way to create customized versions of the
documentation that the Tech Pubs and Marketing groups already create/maintain
while being able to add, delete, modify, and augment said content. This will allow us
to deliver custom documentation for professional services engagements that target
the organization's specific environment and needs. This would make keeping up-to-date
with documentation updates and changes much easier on my end. One of my requirements
is to provide this documentation in both a printed and an indexed, searchable electronic
version. Ideally, it would be possible for the customer to add their own work product to
this electronic version once it is delivered so that they could store all information related
to their implementation in one place. "
I replied something like:
"You want TechPubs* and Marketing to drop all our current tools and start
producing all documents in a common Wiki?"
I think the guy left the company soon after, so I never followed up with him,
nor he with me.
What would be your response to him, in 2012? Don't say DITA.
(*TechPubs was, at best, a classification, not a department. Then, as now, there was no single ownership or leadership.
I think Marketing was ... if not a group... at least reporting to a single Veep somewhere. So, images of herding cats while pushing string should come to mind.)
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