“The support team just called. The latest issues of the maintenance manuals still contain old component names. It’s resulted in two customers withholding payments, so we need a new version fast!”. Sheer stress when it comes to technical authoring! We thought of everything, replaced the graphics at the last minute, completed the translation by the deadline – and after all that, the terminology is wrong. Systematic sloppiness?
Urgently required – help with detailed accuracy
Sloppiness? No, not in this instance – and probably not in the authoring process either, when errors creep in at detailed level. Who can keep an eye on everything, all the inputs and requirements that come together for a release – especially with highly complex products? And terminology in particular, with its fine granularity, constitutes detailed work during the final stage of the process – after all, every single letter ultimately has to be spot on.
So what can be done? As the manufacturer of one of the most popular component content management systems, we feel the pain experienced by our customers. That’s why we have been specifically working in recent years on the development of features that allow the automation of repetitive steps – and even entire processes. With these features, we also offer you truly powerful quality management assistants.
The easiest exercise – never forget the terminology check again
With the automation features in SCHEMA ST4, as the technical writer you can implement your authoring processes directly in ST4. To do so, you model your steps with the help of Workflow Designer – a graphic interface – in the form of tasks and actions.
One of the tasks that must be completed during the course of the process, that ultimately leads to the release and publication of documents, may of course be a terminology check. You have a wide range of automation options available to you here.
For example, you can create a terminology check as a process step, which appears in the editor’s task schedule when it falls due. Once the task is complete, the editor simply checks it off to signal completion. There’s nothing more to it – you simply create a “reminder” in ST4 to make sure the task cannot be forgotten.
That’s certainly a good start. You can go one step further and make subsequent process steps dependent on completion of the “terminology check”. In other words, it is not actually possible to release or publish a document without performing the terminology check. If you choose to do this, you establish a clear obligation as well as the degree of traceability required for certified processes.
The “HOW” can be automated too
However, with automation in ST4 you can not only guarantee that a terminology check takes place, but also how. Using ST4 Workflow Automation Library, you can integrate external language checking tools such as Congree or Acrolinx into the process. You therefore have the full power of these trusted content quality specialists available to you at the touch of a button.
And you can once again make further automation steps contingent on feedback from these systems. If a Congree review, for example, attains a quality rating of 90 percent, content approval is permitted. If the value lies below 90 percent, approval of the content is blocked and publication in the end customer layout is not possible. Instead, the content automatically enters a revision cycle before being subjected to a renewed quality assessment. Once this process is complete, production is possible.
Where do you wish to start?
The quality of terminology will almost certainly be of central importance to your content. After all, the more legally binding your documents are, the more critical it is for you that they are precise on a detailed level. How can you make the jump to the next level of quality and automation using the automation features for SCHEMA ST4? Get in touch and find out what we can do! We would be delighted to open up the concentrated power of the automation features in ST4 for you.