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Reinventing Content Publishing

Sponsored by: CIDM
Presenter: Ann Beebe, Microsoft Dynamics AX
Date Recorded: February 17, 2016
This is a free webinar.


Abstract

As software has moved to the cloud and evolved into Software as a Service, there’s been an increasing need for software documentation to evolve as well. Documentation processes and project management methodologies that relied on long release cycles don’t work in the more agile world of continuous software updates.

While working through this evolution, the Microsoft Dynamics AX Content Publishing team was hit with a massive layoff, reducing a team of 40 people to a team of 10. Suddenly, the idea of reinventing how we worked and how we delivered content in a more agile way took on a much more extreme meaning. Over the past year, we’ve worked through a true reinvention. We developed a model where the role of the writer has changed to the role of Content Strategist, the role of the manager has changed to one of empowering the team rather than trying to solve the team’s problems, the role of creating content has moved to a variety of subject matter experts, and the role of ensuring content quality has been distributed across teams who work most closely with customers.

We’ve learned a great deal through this reinvention, and this talk shares the highlights of what we’ve learned.

This talk looks at how the Microsoft Dynamics AX Content Publishing team reinvented their roles, authoring tools, and content creation and publishing processes in an environment where staffing levels are so low that writers can no longer write. You’ll learn about this team’s experience in moving away from traditional content publishing practices and instead, collaborating with other subject matter experts in planning content, identifying appropriate authors, incenting subject matter experts to create the content, and leveraging teams outside of Content Publishing to ensure content quality. The talk covers aspects of change management, influencing without authority, collaboration, partnering, creative problem solving, and teamwork.


Presenters

Ann Beebe has been leading content publishing teams at Microsoft for 18 years. She’s managed the documentation teams for Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Business Framework, Visual Studio, Home and Small Business Server, and is currently leading the documentation teams for Microsoft Dynamics’ AX and GP products. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ann managed documentation, training, and corporate communications for Barfield, Cauthen & Associates in Atlanta, and managed documentation and usability teams for Sales Technologies, Inc. in Atlanta.



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