I thought it might be interesting to talk about how one of our reports came together: from its genesis to its publication. In this case I'll talk about our recently released report on ODF/OOXML: What’s Up, .DOC? ODF, OOXML, and the Revolutionary Implications of XML in Productivity Applications.
Although each service draws up a tentative publication schedule at the beginning of the year, this report was not on it. While CCS kept its eye on the ODF vs. OOXML debate, it was not a subject that was top of mind for us. That changed in September 2007, when a client asked me to give a PowerPoint presentation on OOXML to a CIO consortium. I spent several days digging into the subject (studying both ODF and OOXML), put together a 49-slide deck, and spent several hours presenting to him and seven other CIOs. While this was a Microsoft shop trying to figure out the nuances of migrating from Office 2003 to Office 2007, it was clear that OOXML needed to be understood within the context of its competitor, ODF. That got us intrigued.
In Q4 Peter O'Kelly decided he'd write an overview on the subject, building on the technical details I had initially unearthed. He interviewed a wide variety of people and vendors--including Adobe, Altova, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, and Sun--and wrote most of the report. He then passed a draft on to me, which I altered--I added the one-page summary at the front of the Analysis section and made tweaks throughout the document--so we were both in agreement on what it said. We then sent it out to the vendors mentioned above for feedback to make sure it was accurate. They all made comments--some of which we accepted, and some of which we did not. We fixed all the factual errors that were reported back to us, and made a judgment call on the ones that dealt more in tone.
We sent it in to Production (our editing group); the report was published on January 11.