ARM wanted to improve their end customer experience by delivering information in a way that was easier for customers to find, read, navigate and leverage to get their work done. ARM’s absolute commitment to accurate customer data meant that they had a policy of non-duplication. This was to prevent any possibility of errors creeping in through version or file management issues. The linear, Docbook-based system made content reuse impractical, and so it was difficult and costly to give users everything they wanted all in one place without duplicating. As a result, customers felt they had quality information that was usually accurate but was often fragmented across multiple documents.
ARM Holdings is the world’s leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier and as such is at the heart of the development of the world’s digital electronic products.
ARM’s development schedule required diverse documents, aimed at diverse audiences to be delivered to a tight schedule at industry-leading and contractually critical levels of accuracy and quality. Analysis of content relationships was too costly and documents had to be reviewed and quality-checked extensively and manually because the system in place couldn’t provide the analytics required to ensure quality any other way.
In short, they felt that their old technology stack and authoring paradigm were preventing the delivery of the user benefits they were hoping to achieve. As well, maintaining content in their existing system required a level of effort they did not want to sustain long term.
It was vital that:
- updates to the documentation could be quickly and smoothly implemented
- that review was done with maximum efficiency
- that new upcoming translation and multi-format publishing requirements could be supported.
Mekon conducted a Content Strategy Audit, which validated the internal research that ARM had already done, and confirmed key propositions:
- That DITA was the best XML standard for ARM.
- That a CCMS was needed to support the complexity of their DITA use.
- That the existing publishing tool-chain should be upgraded to be more future-proof and take full advantage of electronic delivery.
- The findings of the CSA were presented to internal teams to build awareness, vision, and enthusiasm and to exchange knowledge, and were very well received, winning support for the next phases.
The Project Scoping and Planning phase used acknowledged best practice to set out an approach for migration to DITA content that was suitable for ARM’s situation. The PSP consolidated ARM’s requirements, defined the priority areas for change and identified a shortlist of suitable tools for further evaluation.
Working alongside industry-leading Mekon partners the Rockley Group, the project proceeded into a User and Task Analysis, Information Architecture and Content Analysis which detailed content structures and internal standards including:
- Refinements of end-user content requirements.
- A detailed structural review of content
- Contributions to ARM DITA templates and new DITA style guide
- Development of user personas and initial taxonomies
The next stage was the Conference Room Prototypes which enabled ARM’s technical publications teams to review 3 systems hands-on, using their own content in as close to real life situations as possible. To help the teams make an informed choice, Mekon provided a comprehensive tools report based on use-cases developed collaboratively between ARM and Mekon. We worked together to further narrow the short-listed systems based on the requirements and a customised scoring table.
Mekon continued on to provide Iterative System Implementation – technical services and ongoing consultancy which delivered:
- Support and communications programme during pilot and CCMS implementation
- Support and guidance on information architecture best practice.
- Contributions to the new internal user guide for the new ARM CCMS system.
- Training program for an international group (60 staff across 3 continents) on the DITA standard, authoring in DITA and the chosen CCMS and authoring tools.
- Automatic Antenna House print and DITA Open Toolkit Eclipse-help publishing implementation.
Antenna House XSL Formatter is a high performance application for the automatic composition, transformation and rendering of XML content into high quality postscript and PDF output.
Ixiasoft DITA CMS
Ixiasoft DITA CMS is an enterprise-class component content management solution designed to author, manage, review, localise and publish DITA-based technical documentation. DITA CMS was developed specifically to support the DITA standard.
oXygen XML Editor
oXygen XML Editor is the only XML tool that supports all the XML schema languages. It is a cross-platform application available on all the major operating systems.