What are some content strategy considerations when adopting DITA?

When adopting DITA as part of a content strategy, organizations need to consider several key factors to ensure a successful implementation. These considerations revolve around content planning, structure, reuse, localization, collaboration, and scalability.

Content Planning

Organizations must define their content goals and objectives clearly. This includes understanding the audience, purpose, and scope of the content. Identifying which types of content will be authored in DITA and which will not is essential.

Content Structure

DITA emphasizes structured authoring, where content is broken down into topics and organized hierarchically. Decisions need to be made on how content will be structured, which elements and metadata will be used, and how topics will relate to each other.

Content Reuse

Consider how content components can be reused across different documents, products, or channels. This involves creating a strategy for content modularity and reuse, which can greatly reduce redundancy and maintenance efforts.


If content needs to be localized for different languages or regions, organizations should plan for this in advance. DITA supports localization through metadata and conditional filtering, but the strategy for managing multilingual content should be well-defined.


Collaboration tools and workflows should be established to facilitate teamwork among content creators, editors, and reviewers. Clear guidelines for roles and responsibilities, as well as version control practices, are crucial for smooth collaboration.


Consider how DITA will scale to meet evolving content needs. As the volume of content grows or new types of content are introduced, DITA should be able to adapt to accommodate these changes.


A software company decides to adopt DITA for its product documentation. In the content planning phase, they identify that their audience includes both end-users and developers, and they have different documentation needs. They plan to create separate sets of DITA topics for end-user manuals and developer guides.

For content structure, they decide to use a topic-based approach, with topics like “Installation,” “Configuration,” and “Troubleshooting.” These topics will be organized hierarchically based on the software’s features.

To maximize content reuse, they create a central repository of DITA topics covering common procedures and technical concepts. These topics can be reused in both end-user and developer documentation, reducing duplication of content.

For localization, they plan to use DITA’s metadata and conditional filtering to provide content in multiple languages. They establish a workflow for translation and ensure that metadata is used to identify language-specific topics.

Collaboration is facilitated through a content management system (CMS) that supports DITA. Content creators can work on topics simultaneously, and the CMS manages version control. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined within the CMS.

Finally, the company anticipates that their product will evolve, so they ensure that their DITA implementation is scalable. They can easily add new topics or update existing ones as features change or expand, ensuring that their documentation stays up-to-date.