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How a CCMS Can Save Your Sanity
2015, Q3 (July 13, 2015)
By Suzanne Mescan, Vasont Systems
Frustrated employee
Does this look like you?

Technical communicators play an incredibly important role: They provide the voice of an organization. Whether they write content for internal or external customers, they form perceptions about the organization in the minds of these customers.

Technical communicators largely control the way customers think about a company. Content riddled with mistakes in spelling, grammar, consistency, and, well, just a plain lack of common sense can influence customers to perceive a company to be disorganized, untrustworthy, or incompetent.

On the other hand, good technical communicators can help a company’s products soar to the top of their market by creating quality content for ads, labels, user guides, packaging and inserts, parts manuals, knowledge centers, and other customer touch points. It requires great skill to develop content for a user guide, training course, or other corporate publication that portrays a positive image for the organization.

However, the real challenge for most technical communicators is the ability to juggle many projects simultaneously while keeping them synchronized across many deliverables, in multiple languages, with no errors, while meeting deadlines.

Technologies in the “techcomm” industry have evolved significantly to help writers and editors take command of their content. The core technology used is a component content management system (CCMS) that acts as the control tower for managing all things content-related, as well as managing the editorial, review, translation, and publishing processes that relate to it. With its ability to better govern content and automate processes, a CCMS can generate more savings for an organization.

There are common issues that make technical communicators and their managers go insane:
  • It takes too long to develop and publish documents.
  • There are too many files to manage.
  • The right content can’t be found when it’s needed.
  • Content exists in many different formats and cannot be easily shared across files.
  • Coordinating content for translation is a nightmare.
  • Guidelines aren’t followed by all writers.
  • It’s difficult to manage multiple simultaneous releases.
  • There’s little to no audit trail of the content development process.
  • Formatting is inconsistent from publication to publication.
  • And the list goes on…

A CCMS combats these issues head-on to minimize or even eliminate them with a few key features that go above and beyond common authoring tools:
  • Granular, structured authoring for portability and consistency of content format.
  • Reuse of content for consolidation of assets, elimination of duplicate writing efforts, and ease of finding and updating content.
  • Centralized storage of all assets (text, graphics, multimedia, unstructured content).
  • Governance of content structure and formatting.
  • “Forever” audit trails and tracking of all changes to content and processes.
  • Process automation.

To learn more about using a CCMS as a better way to manage your content, deliverables, and translations and save your sanity, join our webinar on August 20 at 6:00 pm to learn how a CCMS works, what returns you can get from a CCMS, and how it can open the door to new career paths for technical communicators. End of article.

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