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Intentional Design Chooses MadCap Flare Over CMS Options for Enterprise Health Management System Training Documentation and Completes Project in Six Weeks

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Intentional Design Inc.

Vancouver, BC, Canada

http://www.intentionaldesign.ca

Industry:

  • Health Management
  • Training
  • Content Development and Management

Goals:

  • Deliver comprehensive training documentation in six weeks
  • Facilitate customer's ability to make changes
  • Deliver output in PDF, Word and online formats

Solutions:

  • MadCap Flare native XML content authoring tool

Benefits:

  • Ease of development, revisions, and publishing enabled on-time completion of 12 print and online deliverables
  • Topic-based organization simplified reuse for different audiences
  • Single-source delivery to multiple channels meant changes only needed to be made once to the source file, eliminating redundancy
  • Output in Word facilitated client collaboration
"Our client asked how many extra months it would take to produce a knowledge base. I explained that, by generating it as online Help, we could complete it with the rest of the project. That's the power of Flare."
Rahel Bailie | Intentional Design Inc.

No one understands better than Intentional Design how to complete major documentation projects on budget and on time. The equation is simple. Combine a smart, seasoned technical communication team with the right content delivery software for the job.

A case in point is a major project to deliver enterprise health management system training documentation that Intentional Design completed in just six weeks using MadCap Flare. By using Flare's topic-based authoring and single-source, multi-channel publishing, versus a content management system (CMS), three Intentional Design consultants produced 12 print and online deliverables in roughly half the time usually allocated for projects of similar scope.

Flare Authoring Tool is the Right Remedy

Intentional Design develops communication solutions for leading businesses and government organizations throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia–helping them to create and better manage their business-critical content.

In Spring 2008, the firm was contracted by a regional health authority that was implementing a comprehensive enterprise health management system. The authority required a range of training materials to support the new system, which would be delivered as Word documents, PDF files and online content. Because of the tight project timeframe, Intentional Design needed a content solution that would enable rapid development and modification across all three channels.

"We looked at a number of authoring and CMS options," said Rahel Bailie, president of Intentional Design, former board member of the Society of Technical Communication (STC), and current chair of the Canada West Chapter of CM Pros. "I couldn't imagine us building the content in a CMS and having to struggle with XSL style sheets. We couldn't have built the system in time, and ongoing changes would have been exorbitantly expensive."

"By contrast," Ms. Bailie noted, "Flare was the best fit for the project with its topic-based authoring and ability to publish to multiple channels from a single source file. It meant we could simply turn on or off the variance to deliver training materials and supporting documentation to different audiences in the appropriate format."

Single-sourcing Streamlines Delivery

The project included 12 deliverables from a single pool of content: 3 course instructor guides, 3 student guides, 2 user guides, 2 online tutorials for different groups of users, a print version of one online tutorial, and a topic-based knowledge base. Using Flare, a change in the source content would be reflected over any number of these deliverables depending on the topic.

Flare also generated the content in Word files, so Intentional Design's customer could easily mark it up. At times, content was published in Word for the customer to revise two or three times a day, enabling a highly collaborative and efficient process of review.

"Flare allowed us to become heroes in the eyes of our client," said Ms. Bailie. "For example, when we were well into the project, our client asked how many extra months it would take to produce a knowledge base. I explained that, by generating it as online Help, we could complete it with the rest of the project. That's the power of Flare."

The efficiencies gained with Flare allowed the Intentional Design team to successfully complete the project in record time, said Ms Bailie, who added, "I do an analysis each time I choose a tool for a project; more and more often, I'm choosing Flare."