99.9% SINGLE- SOURCE DOCUMENTATION
Strategies and lessons learned from developing an intranet with FrameMaker and WebWorks Publisher.
J E A N - L U C M A Z E T & M
A T T H E W R E E V E S
Across the industry, there's a lot of talk about single-source documentation: the pros and cons; recommended tools and workarounds; and the realities of effectively delivering online and paper content from a single source. It makes sense for writers to maintain only one set of content while paper and online users benefit from exactly the same information. And it's essential to customize the paper and online formats individually to ensure usability. It is a tall order, but it can be done.
In April 1999, we made these goals a reality for the content of 19 reference manuals containing more than 8,000 pages. Adobe FrameMaker and Quadralay® WebWorks® Publisher were the main tools we used to develop and maintain the single-source documentation. Each month the updated content of the reference material is pushed from the printed page to the intranet/extranet documentation system we call e-OPM, which stands for electronic Operations and Procedures Manual. About 700 EDS and state agency users rely on the information to complete their claims processing work.
We were determined to make the single-source strategies work well. Almost two years after beginning the project, this Hyperviews:Online article is an opportunity to share experiences, strategies, and lessons learned.
|The "Butterfly Challenge"||
The "Butterfly Challenge" was to supply over 700 customer service representatives, claims processors, and claims auditors with up-to-date health care policies and billing procedures.
We had several project goals:
We also decided that we had one main priority to help achieve these project goals -- to provide consistent, user-friendly documentation from a single source. We wanted our people and customers to work and benefit from exactly the same information. The solution had to enable provider claims and inquiries to be handled from a single source of information, improve format and consistency, and reduce the number of production errors caused by outdated documentation.
content is maintained in 19 FrameMaker 5.5.6 book files that make up the
paper version of the Operations and Procedures Manual.
Each FrameMaker book file is linked to a WebWorks Publisher project (.wdt).
Through a .wdt, WebWorks converts FrameMaker files into HTML files, generated
graphics, and specified macros. WebWorks provides functionality that enables
the mapping of virtually every FrameMaker attribute including paragraph,
character, table, marker, cross-reference, and conditional text tags. The
WebWorks output tag mimics the functionality of a FrameMaker master page
so that HTML can be generated with particular boilerplate text and graphics
on particular HTML pages.
On top of e-OPM's HTML interface and the thousands of HTML files generated from the FrameMaker source is a search engine, Infoseek's Ultraseek 3.1. Twenty-five paper libraries of the Operations and Procedures Manual are maintained as a backup system in case the Web site is down. Users also can access Adobe® Acrobat® files (.PDF) on the LAN as another backup.
At the same time each month, the OPM paper libraries and the e-OPM are updated monthly with the latest policy and procedure information.
Even though the paper and web documents are produced from a single source, the e-OPM solution enables the output to be customized for two mediums: paper and online. In other words, careful template planning and coding yields output designed specifically for paper and web consumption.
Solution at a glance
The first step was understanding the challenges faced by users and how electronic documentation could improve productivity. Under the direction of the project manager, Kim Day, we set out to achieve this by establishing user groups with a cross-section of representatives from the claims processing and customer environment.
The FrameMaker files created for the prototypes became the backbone of the solution. In the end, documentation content is maintained in FrameMaker files only and the interface files are updated through straight HTML coding.
On Dec. 2, 1998, the first official paper copy of the Operations and Procedures Manual (OPM) was delivered to the state of Texas.
The next step was to launch the e-OPM Pilot Program to test the solutions implemented. Reeves developed the pilot program and training curriculum. About 50 EDS/NHIC and state agency users participated in the pilot. Novice, intermediate, and advanced business experts from all departments tested the first version of e-OPM.
The pilot program was rolled out to the users at a training seminar in January 1999. Each pilot participant received a seven-day workbook for e-OPM testing. The workbook provided tips, activities, questions, and a journal for each day of testing. The developers ran a daily e-OPM help desk to support the testers and to document bugs reported. At the end of the pilot, employees from our Quality Services Division collected the workbooks and the conclusion evaluation forms. From the workbooks and other evaluation materials, this group documented testing results and culled user experience feedback.
It was time for us to interpret the feedback so the tool could be improved before its release. The developers created an implementation document from the pilot findings that helped management prioritize change requests and enhancements. Priority one items were incorporated before account-wide training, and priority two items were delayed until after implementation.
As a result, an improved e-OPM intranet was the basis of NHIC and customer training classes held in March 1999. The training curriculum included:
On April 2, 1999, the project team implemented e-OPM, an intranet/extranet site with over 8,000 pages generated and maintained from a single source. The e-OPM intranet was implemented successfully for over 700 users.
The support of the site started the same day as the implementation. It included an e-mail address for e-OPM bug reports, a list of subject matter experts (SMEs) on the site's FAQ page, and a help desk for technical issues such as connection or computer setup.
|End user benefits||
The single-source intranet/extranet documentation enables users to:
|Implementation success measurements|| We
measure the success of the single-source intranet/extranet implementation
with the following statistics:
We learned the following lessons:
|Coding, tools, and hardware information||
|Trademarks||All other proprietary names or information contained herein are the properties of their respective owners.|
Jean-Luc Mazet and Matthew Reeves are EDS/NHIC information designers who were charged with developing an online documentation system in 1998 for the National Heritage Insurance Company (NHIC). NHIC, a subsidiary of EDS, serves as claims administrator for the Texas Medicaid program and several other state health care programs under contract with the Texas Department of Health (TDH). Each year, EDS/NHIC employees process over 33.5 million health insurance claims and answer over 400,000 customer service calls related to claims processing.
Volume 3, # 1