Learning DITA while maintaining unstructured documents

We need time and resources to identify new technologies and methods, evaluate them, and adopt the ones that show promise. At the same time, we need to continue developing and delivering information to customers using our traditional tools. Is there a way forward that offers minimal disruption to our current processes?

Yes, there is a way. We can use DITA to write new material, and then integrate the resulting information into our old, unstructured process. As we write the DITA, we can evaluate editors, experiment with topic-based authoring techniques, explore DITA structures, investigate metadata and workflow possibilities, and produce pilot documents that demonstrate the value of the new approach. Then, when it's time to publish, we can convert what we've done to unstructured Frame, and with minor adjustments, integrate it into existing publications.

To some extent this is a one-way street. After we convert the content to unstructured Frame, we must continue to develop it in unstructured Frame.  But that's a fair trade-off for now, because along the way we learn a lot about the new methods we need to adopt. And when we do fully implement DITA, the new material will be relatively easy to convert back to structured form.  
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