Last week we brought you news of a webinar on DITA in the Enterprise to be chaired today by IBM and JustSystems, in which the companies' co-authored DITA Maturity Model is to be presented.
Now we can bring you details on just what the Maturity Model is all about. We're not saying you should slack off and not bother with the Webinar. We're just giving you the option, is all.
The Model defines "the industry's first graduated, step-by-step methodology for implementing Darwin Information Typing Architecture (Dita)", and breaks down how this should be done into six levels:
# Level 1 - Topics: The most minimum DITA adoption requires the migration of the current XML content sources.
# Level 2 - Scalable Reuse: The major activity at this level is to break down the content in topics that are stored as individual files and use DITA maps to collect and organize the content into reusable units for assembly into specific deliverables.
# Level 3 - Specialization and Customization: Now, users expand the information architecture to be a full content model, which explicitly defines the different types of content required to meet different author and audience needs and specify how to meet these needs using structured, typed content.
# Level 4 - Automation and Integration: Once content is specialized, users can leverage their investments in semantics with automation of key processes and begin tying content together even across different specializations or authoring disciplines.
# Level 5 - Semantic Bandwidth: As DITA diversifies to occupy more roles within an organization, a cross-application, cross-silo solution that shares DITA as a common semantic currency lets groups use the toolset most appropriate for their content authoring and management needs.
# Level 6 - Universal Semantic Ecosystem: As DITA provides for scalable semantic bandwidth across content silos and applications, a new kind of semantic ecosystem emerges: Semantics that can move with content across old boundaries, wrap unstructured content, and provide validated integration with semi-structured content and managed data sources.
According to JustSystems, one of the best things about DITA is its capacity for incremental adoption in the Enterprise. Users can start out slow with small implementations, and invest over time as they see fit. But ad-hoc adoption has its problems of course, and some do it better than others as evidenced by radically different ROI figures reported by enterprises.
Hence the Maturity Model, which attempts to offer a best-practice approach to incremental DITA adoption, and put implementation on a sound operational footing.
Paul Wlodarczyk, VP at JustSystems, puts it this way: “DITA makes sense wherever content is highly branded or regulated and broadly leveraged, from technical documents to marketing materials, regulatory filings, customer communications and beyond.
“The DITA Maturity Model recognizes that each organization is adopting DITA at its own pace. So, the model starts from square one, laying out the key steps that any organization can take to successfully adopt DITA.”
If your interest is piqued, you may still have time to catch the webinar, “The DITA Maturity Model: Fast-Tracking Your Enterprise Content and XML Adoption Strategy”. It's on today, February 5, 2008, at 11:00 am PST/2:00 pm EST. You can sign up here.