Lessons Learnt on Migrating Multilingual content to DITA

Presentation Abstract

Beyond re-use and User Experience, Localization is often one of the main drivers of a migration project. Most of the ROI is based on savings in localization, since content quality and User Experience are difficult to factor in.

The leader in DITA localization, WhP also provides consulting services. We have designed a methodology to help DITA adopters reach their targeted ROI, while or after they migrate. It consists in an audit and a workshop with the Documentation team to explore the ideal path, a pilot project to implement and measure achievements and further support when the team takes over.

Tyco and Johnson Controls’ merger in the fall of 2016 was perfect timing to migrate to DITA and implement dynamic delivery. The combined multinationals managed nineteen brands and a hundred technical writers scattered throughout the Business Units; centralizing documentation using DITA would lower costs, reduce time to market and improve user experience across their offering.

Languages were a cornerstone of the migration project. If done well, DITA would generate up to 30% savings in the group’s localization expenses. However, the legacy content, given its multiple sources and formats, contained flaws that could jeopardize reaching the targeted savings. In addition, the newly formed Documentation team had low expertise in DITA content localization and its implication in CMS processes and dynamic publishing.

So when WhP offered their multilingual consulting services to support their documentation team, the newly branded JCI group went along.

Back in May, WhP presented a preliminary audit in front of a team of JCI content stakeholders during a two-day workshop. They pinpointed the issues they had found in the screenshots, UI terms, key terms, variant conditions, and Translation Memories.

A piece of software documentation was selected as the pilot project starting from an existing MS Word document and working all the way through to dynamic publishing in nine languages. Rolling out the pilot project is set to take place in August, whereby WhP and the doc team will review and gather important metrics on how to enhance content and adopt new practices for future translation-friendly technical content.

In this presentation, JCI will share their experience with the DITA Pilot Project and what it taught them about writing for DITA, localization and dynamic publishing. Using JCI’s project, WhP will delve into some of the corrections they made to enable a smooth migration of the source content, its effective and competitive localization and its publication in nine additional languages.

What can attendees expect to learn?

The lessons learnt from JCI’s pilot project can be applied to any industry and documentation team. The audience will discover through JCI’s story the adjustments they need to make to their legacy content, the steps required in the migration and the best practices to adopt for DITA and localization.

Meet the Presenter

A graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Paris, Dominique is CEO of WhP since 2005. Before joining WhP, Dominique managed several multinational operations in Europe, the US and South America. Based in Montreal, Dominique strives to make localization rhyme with innovation. His passion for DITA has led him to position WhP as a specialist in DITA localization to help customers enhance multilingual DITA content generation. The company has designed advanced solutions that bridge the gap between DITA and localization processes, leveraging content reuse and collaborative linguistic review.

Dominique is an active member of the DITA community, both on and offline and a fervent long distance cyclist.

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