the ability to avoid editing the same information multiple times
in multiple source files for multiple deliverables, and the enahnced
ability to use content from multiple writers. Both of these can
yield improvements in productivity, but the improvements are
much larger in departments with multiple writers. This is a
direct benefit that can be hard to quantify, and which will not
be apparent immeidately because productivity often falls off
for months while writers become comfortable with the new
tools and new way they have to approach their work.

The big payoff from the customer's standpoint is the improved
consistency and predictability that comes from adherence to
a defined document structure. There may also be a long-term
benefit in faster development/update cycles for documentation.
In the long run, the customer benefits may be the biggest
payoff, but because they are an indirect benefit they are very
hard to quantify.

Because it can take so long before the advantages of
implementing structured authoring are obvious, it's
important to get a commitment from management that has
a long enough term to get you over the hump. There have
been many cases where the setup/conversion costs and
initial reduction in productivity has caused management to
pull the plug before the tipping point is reached. One
useful strategy to avoid this is to do a small, *non-critical*
project as a pilot so that you can demonstrate feasability
before asking for a longer-term commitment to a full rollout.

Fred Ridder

>From: Miriam Boral <miriamb at>
>To: framers at
>Subject: structured Frame
>Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2007 05:09:19 -0500
>Hello Everyone,
>I'm the sole tech writer for a very small company, but we have a large 
>suite of documentation. I'm beginning to teach myself structured Frame both 
>because I feel it's the way of the future (and therefore worth learning) 
>and also to explore how it might (or might not) be beneficial to the 
>company I work for. I'm interested in hearing from others about their 
>experience working with it and how they feel it benefits their work.
>Thanks very much.
>Miriam Boral

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