“Aggressive Gosling” produces a variety of highly technical documents. One document is derived from information in a product development database. The technical publication group at Aggressive Gosling periodically generates a report from the database, and updates the document based on any changes.
Generating the report is easy, but reviewing it for changes is dreadful and extremely time-consuming. Aggressive Gosling needs an automated way to get the information from the database into the related document. But the database is a homegrown project, and the output is custom markup that is unique to Aggressive Gosling. Aggressive Gosling needs a way to extract information from the database and publish it into a variety of formats using the established publishing workflows.
- Extract information from the database in whatever format is easiest
- Convert the extracted information into XML
- Integrate the XML into the existing workflow and use the established publishing tools
The business case
|Item||Implementation cost (one-time)|
|Write database extractor||$5,000|
|Convert database extract into XML||$10,000|
|Build automated import from XML into current authoring tool||$10,000|
|Item||Cost savings and revenue generated (per year)|
|Quarterly review of database extract to identify updates (10 hours @ $50/hour, 4 times per year)||$2,000|
|Manual insertion of updates into authoring tool (60 hours @$50/hour, 4 times per year)||$12,000|
The payback period here is just under two years, but it is also worth noting that a process that takes nearly two weeks (70 hours) per quarter is now done in minutes. The value of that increase in velocity is not quantified here.