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Working in self-organizing teams. Or: how we get rid of management

Today's world is VUCA : volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Companies are facing complex challenges such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. Those who do not respond fast, may be driven out of the market. more ...

Office Pets. Part II: Blacky and Felix

This is the second (and last) part of our blog series about office pets. This time, we present Blacky and Felix, two brothers. They are six years old, curious, and always hungry. more ...

Check if or check that? Or: Have you tried turning if off and on again?

How often do we read or write that we should check something? Example: "Check if the computer is connected to power." Clear message, no misunderstanding. But what if it says: "Check that the computer is connected to power." more ...

Ten questions for Ines Lasch, intern at parson

Ines Lasch just finished her vocational training as a technical writer and is doing an eight-week internship at parson. We asked her ten questions. more ...

Vocational Training for Technical Communicators. How Does it Work?

Anja Schiel, trainee, and Ulrike Parson, CEO of parson AG, offer their insights into the vocational training for technical communicators. more ...

Technologies of interest in technical documentation: results of two surveys

We recently reported on the UA Europe survey about tools and technologies of interest in technical documentation. Now the tekom, the German professional association for technical documentation, published the key figures for the German technical communication industry for 2015.

In the UA Europe survey,* more than 20 % of the participants named DITA as their technology of interest, followed by HTML5 and Responsive Design. Click to read our blog article about the UA Europe survey.

UAEurope Technology2015Technology of interest 2015. © UA Europe

The tekom figures** also show that formal structures are widely used in technical documentation. Only 30-35 % of the interviewed companies do not use them. Formal structures in this context mean both XML structure definitions and non-technical standardization structures, such as Funktionsdesign® or Information Mapping®.

Contrary to the UA survey, only 9.4 % of the interviewed software companies and 4.1 % of the industrial companies use DITA.

Funktionsdesign® turns out to be the most popular structuring standard of the industrial companies, followed by custom XML structure definitions.

tekomBranchenzahlen StrukturierungsstandardsUse of structuring standards in technical documentation. Source: Branchenkennzahlen für die Technische Kommunikation 2015. © tekom 2015 – Dr. Daniela Straub

The following matrix shows that DITA is not a leading standard in the German-speaking countries. If it is used, it is preferred by software companies.

tekomBranchenzahlen DITARelevanzHow important is DITA in technical documentation? Source: Branchenkennzahlen für die Technische Kommunikation 2015. © tekom 2015 – Dr. Daniela Straub

Unfortunately, the tekom survey did not include the tools used in technical documentation. It would have been interesting to compare the figures. UA Europe showed MadCap Flare with 32 % as the leading tool.

What about you? Do you use a structuring standard like Information Mapping® or Funktionsdesign® and/or XML-based documentation? And if XML, which standard do you use?

Sources:

* UA Europe
** Branchenkennzahlen für die Technische Kommunikation 2015. © tekom 2015 – Dr. Daniela Straub

 

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