What Does a CCMS Do That Other Systems Don’t?

We often hear questions like, “Can I still use DITA if I don’t have a component content management system (CCMS)?“ . The answer is “Yes“ …but… Like any method of publishing, you can perform various functions to a certain point without a CCMS. However, there are things a CCMS does that other tools don’t do that can make you more effective in your publishing process:

Tips for Justifying Your CMS Each Year

Each year, CFOs review the costs expended by their companies to verify that the money being spent is worthwhile. If they find that spending cannot be justified with positive results, budgets may be cut for those departments. In that case, you may need to say good-bye to the tools, the support, and the services that you might rely on to do your job if you can’t prove its worth.

Tips for Finding the Right Content in a CCMS

Component content management is all about reusing content modules to save on content creation time, avoid inconsistencies in content, and trim translation costs. When you’re given a new writing assignment, you must be able to find the right content to reuse. If no matches are available, then you know you need to create something new. Here are three effective ways to find existing modules in a CCMS:

What NOT To Do When Choosing a CMS

We’ve given tips in previous articles about what to consider when choosing a CMS. Now, let’s take a look at the flip side and consider what NOT to do when choosing a CMS. It’s good to know what to avoid, too, rather than learning the hard way (and the expensive way!). These tips were derived from experiences we’ve seen with organizations in the past that made a few big mistakes in their quest to buy a CMS. Take a lesson from them and do not follow in their footsteps:

Tips for Easing Into Content Management

You may have a long-term goal to implement a component content management system (CCMS) and structured authoring, but you may only have the staff and budget to dip your toe in and wade slowly through the shallow end rather than to plunge into the deep end all at once. Is it possible to break the implementation down into manageable steps?

Criteria for Adopting a CMS

How do you know if a CMS is right for your organization? Many people struggle to find the answer to this question. Often, these are the questions we hear: Is my content base too small to make it worthwhile? Is the cost of a CMS too expensive for my organization? Is my staff too small to benefit from a CMS? What is the breakeven point for adopting a CMS?

You may be looking in all the wrong places for justification for a CMS. The size of your team, the size of your content base, and the cost of the system may only play a small role in the decision to implement a CMS. The more important factor is: how much will you save in time and costs if you implement a CMS? Here are some criteria to consider:

Getting a Little Respect for Technical Writing

Technical writers sometimes feel like the ugly step-child. They have too much work, and there’s never enough staff to do everything that must be done. And, the work was needed yesterday! In some organizations, the focus is placed on the engineering and marketing of the product, but the technical documentation is merely perceived as an afterthought. Since technical documentation is a cost of doing business rather than a revenue generator, it tends to get the small end of the budget stick.

Tips for Finding the Best CMS for Single Sourcing Your Content

When thinking about moving your content into a content management system (CMS), there are a few key principles to consider. The first principle is single sourcing. A CMS is a great place to store one copy of your content so that it can be shared with many users. By single sourcing your content, you eliminate all duplicate copies of the content and consolidate your content base down to one trusted source of content. Now, all users who access the content will always get the most current version, and older copies won’t be floating around anymore. In addition, single sourcing your content leads to higher quality documents since the content that is being reused across your publications is current and consistent.

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