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 11:01:10 +0800 (SGT)

Excellent question, Kevin.Â

Actually, we had to do nothing other than what we normally do in terms of producing the output...Collaborate here meant transfer of know-how. We entertained their request, patiently answered all the questions they had about the tool we used and how we created the output and whether they'd need the same tool to re-generate output, helped them out with the mapping/linking to the application screens and so on. It helped enormously that our output is WebHelp, so they could easily swap/add htm files. ÂBefore this collaboration happened, they were creating a training manual for the customer in Word or PDF, and linking that file to the F1 of the application.Â

Also, we (Doc team) do not maintain this customized version of the Help anywhere in our version control tool. That is the responsibility of the Prof Services guys and of the client. Our base version will always only contain the out-of-the-box help, but now Professional Services has the know-how to customize this help for each customer. ÂSince our product is highly customized, this is a big bonus for them.

Hope this answered your question, Kevin.Â

regards,
Reshma

________________________________
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: reshma pendse <reshma_pendse -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot- in>; "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, 13 June 2012 11:03 PM
Subject: RE: The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes


Given that the customer was able to use your Flare output, what did âcollaborateâ actually mean, from your perspective? What did you have to DO that you would not normally do when telling Flare to generate and publish?
Â
From:reshma pendse [mailto:reshma_pendse -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot- in]
Sent: June-13-12 12:43 PM
To: McLauchlan, Kevin; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes
Â
Hi Kevin,
Â
FWIW, maybe the request wasn't so far-fetched after all...
Â
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.Â
Â
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.
Â
regards,
Reshma

________________________________

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.



-Â Â Â Â Â k


(*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.)

The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help. Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need.

Try Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.

http://bit.ly/doc-to-help

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may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
message and deleting it from your computer without copying
or disclosing it.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help. Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need.

Try Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.

http://bit.ly/doc-to-help

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References:
The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes: From: reshma pendse
RE: The magic tool that everyone can use without stepping on toes: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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