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The Cost of Content Maintenance Calculator

Time Is Your Most Valuable Resource

Document maintenance is important, but your writers might be spending too much time on it.

Check out our “Cost of Maintenance Calculator” below to see how much document maintenance costs you, and decide if it’s time to find a faster way to maintain your content.

We surveyed 149 writers and found that:

  • The number one pain point among writers is document maintenance.
  • Document maintenance is viewed as lower value to an organization than primary tasks like writing or planning content.
  • Writers who can articulate the value of their weekly tasks to their managers were 20% more effective than their counterparts.


How did you do? Surprised by the result? Email the result to your team and start a conversation about how you can improve your document maintenance process.

Do you want your document maintenance to be more efficient? Consider what tools you are using for maintenance. Typical desktop publishing systems (DTP) can be slow and difficult to manage. If this sounds familiar, consider the speed and efficiency offered with a component content management system (CCMS).

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About the Calculator

Below, we explain the reasons why a desktop publishing system (DTP) takes so much time compared to a CCMS.

Number of Writers

Don’t assume that a large writing team equals high output. Documentation teams using DTPs get stalled by document maintenance, slowing output. In a recent survey, we found that most writing teams (81%) consist of ten or fewer writers, but some of these teams produce incredible quantities of high quality content within their CCMS. These teams often have diversified roles beyond writing and editing such as content architect or information designer.


There is temptation to conflate an employee’s value with their salary. However, these are distinct. Salary is easily referenced and quantifiable, but the value of an employee is based on their ability to advance high priority or worthwhile tasks. For writers, worthwhile tasks are those that enhance or grow the organization’s quantity of quality documentation. By extension, this means it is important to reduce the amount of time an employee spends on lesser or inconsequential tasks. These are the tasks that do not contribute to those goals. By providing better tools, processes, and resources, organizations improve the employee impact by enabling them to provide more value back to the company.


With a DTP, this process can become a team-wide meandering hunt through the wilderness of scattered, siloed content stored on individual computers. Conversely, a CCMS stores content in a single source. Authors can infuse this single source with rich metadata which allows writers to target that metadata when searching. Fast and precise.

Fix and Update

Updating is valuable work. The question is about the efficacy of the writer’s time. Updating in a DTP system often means correcting, copying, and pasting to multiple documents with the same change. With a CCMS, topics of content are stored in a single source. Topics can be reused so that multiple documents are constructed from the same, core topics. Any changes to the original topic are instantly reflected in all reused locations. This allows writers to invest more time towards constructing high quality updates instead of copying and pasting those edits in multiple documents.


With DTP systems, reviews involve sending duplicates of the original document to each reviewer. These duplicates receive extensive comments and suggestions, and the writers spend significant time compiling and implementing the feedback. The process is often long and repetitive. With a CCMS, you reuse critical topics. Those topics only need initial reviews. This can dramatically reduce time spent reviewing documents, and the more you reuse, the more time you save. Some CCMSs also simplify the SME workflow. For instance, easyDITA allows reviewers to suggest and comment in a dedicated Review UI.

Format and Publish

Formatting and publishing in a DTP system takes a lot of time and effort that most writers would rather invest in writing. In fact, almost 40% of respondents to our survey indicated publishing was one of their greatest pain points. A CCMS separates the formatting/publishing from the writing process. Once the content is authored, the publishing engine automatically applies the, making for a painless, push-button, process.

Consider the Advantages of a CCMS:

If your team spends too much time maintaining documentation, perhaps you should consider the advantages of a component content management system.

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