Current systems for creating and maintaining document content are labour intensive, time consuming and susceptible to human error.
They have limited capability for automation, collaboration, structured reuse of information or automated change execution.
Quality of Change
The quality of change execution is dependent on subjective assessment and maintaining accurate and consistent documentation is a significant source of risk and overhead.
Within industries, organisations and affiliations, information of any type is seldom related by a single point of presentation only. Any single piece of data is typically presented in multiple documents, spreadsheets, reports, etc.
Many examples of such data sharing exist such as:
- Project lifecycle documentation: any project, carried out in stages, requires numerous design and test documents to share data
- Research and development documents share their data with processes and services that exploit that data
- Specification documents and manuals share data with an organisation’s internal design processes
- The same data must be entered into several documents, which can lead to inconsistency
- Changing data requires updates to be made to several documents, which is difficult to control and can lead to inconsistency
- Materials that reference other materials can become out-of-date
Consistency and Correctness
These problems are further compounded when consistency and correctness of data throughout documents is critical to an organisations function, such as in regulated industries or any industries where error could lead to injury or death.
Current methods of presentation of information may be categorised into two paradigms:
- Data-centric: The focus is on control and organisation of data in a database. Presentation is in the form of reports or forms, is not content rich or flexible and often requires programming ability.
- Document-centric: The focus is on presentation of information, rich in content, flexible and easy to use. Content can be shared but it is difficult to share and control data at micro level, often requiring programming ability. Documents exist as single files and there is no formal approach to data management.