Creating the Right XML Workflow
• The project managers didn't consider who would apply the tags. That meant they leveraged current staff, without investing in the proper training. When production time isn't critical, consider outsourcing the creation of XML. If production time is critical, or if XML creation must be kept in house, get the software tools that streamline content tagging. And train the staff to use them.
• The project managers didn't pay enough attention to quality assurance. Unlike hard- or soft-proofs that are easily read, XML tagging errors are easily missed. Quality assurance processes enforced by automated tools are essential to the success of any XML project.
• The project managers didn't account for the "people" aspect. Success of an XML project depends on the people who do the production. They must understand the business reasons for the workflow changes. They are more likely to "buy in" to the project effort when they understand why the changes are needed.
XML-based publishing workflows save money and open new markets to publishers. But XML is not a magic bullet. It only succeeds when the implementation is designed to match the publisher's business requirements, and skill level of the production team.
Bruce Rosenblum (Bruce@Inera.com) is CEO of Inera Inc., in Newton, Mass.