How is content governance addressed in DITA content reuse?

Content governance is a critical aspect of DITA content reuse, especially in larger organizations or those that require strict adherence to regulatory standards. By upholding this standard, organizations can ensure that their content is consistent, accurate, and well maintained. This concept is addressed through establishing content policies, assigning roles and responsibilities, defining workflow processes, performing content audits, upholding version control, employing metadata and tagging, and managing changes.

  1. Content Policies: Organizations define policies outlining how content should be created, reviewed, approved, and reused. For example, in a DITA-based software documentation environment, policies dictate how code snippets are approved and maintained.

  2. Roles and Responsibilities: Content governance designates roles and responsibilities for individuals or teams involved in content creation and reuse. For example, a DITA-based technical writing team may assign roles like content creators, reviewers, and approvers.

  3. Workflow Processes: Defined workflows ensure that content goes through review and approval processes before being reused. For example, a DITA-based medical device documentation project may have a workflow specifying that content about device safety must be reviewed by a subject matter expert.

  4. Content Audits: Regular content audits help maintain governance standards. In a DITA-based financial services documentation context, a content audit may ensure that reused sections on compliance regulations are accurate and up-to-date.

  5. Version Control: Strict version control policies ensure that only approved, up-to-date content is reused. In DITA-based manufacturing documentation, version control is essential to ensure that assembly line procedures remain accurate.

  6. Metadata and Tagging: Consistent use of metadata and tags is essential for tracking content governance. In a DITA-based legal documentation project, metadata ensures that case law references are consistently tagged and linked.

  7. Change Management: Governance processes manage changes to content to ensure compliance and accuracy. In a DITA-based aerospace documentation project, any change to safety procedures should be subject to rigorous change management protocols.


A growing software company is establishing new content governance practices to keep up with its new position in the industry. Effective content governance is critical to ensuring that product documentation is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent.

  1. Content Policies:

    The company establishes clear policies for creating, reviewing, and reusing content. Content creators are required to follow specific guidelines for structuring content using DITA.

  2. Roles and Responsibilities:

    The team consists of content creators, reviewers, and approvers. Content creators write software user guides using DITA. Reviewers ensure that the content is technically accurate and aligned with company policies. Approvers oversee the final release of content.

  3. Workflow and Processes:

    Content follows a well-defined workflow: content creation, initial review, technical review, and final approval. All changes to documentation undergo a controlled revision process.

  4. Content Audits:

    Periodic audits are conducted to identify outdated or inaccurate content. Auditors assess the accuracy of content about software features.

  5. Version Control:

    Documentation is stored in a version control system, such as Git. Only approved, up-to-date content is included in software user guides.

  6. Metadata and Tagging:

    Metadata is used to categorize content based on the software version it relates to. Tags are applied to distinguish content types, such as release notes, installation guides, and troubleshooting sections.

  7. Change Management:

    Changes to documentation are logged, and their impact is assessed. Major updates or changes to the software are reflected in the documentation promptly.