Structured authoring documentation stages

The documentation process within a DITA workflow can be separated into stages of building, associating, and publishing.

The process of creating, producing and delivering a document in DITA's modular, structured authoring environment can be divided into three different stages:
Building is the authoring process, normally undertaken by a writer.
Associating is the drawing together of the topics into collections (such as books and Web sites), normally undertaken by the information architects. A bundle of independent topics only becomes a book when the topics are associated, or linked, to each other through the ditamap.
Publishing is the generation of the output collections of topics. The output might be a Word document, a PDF document, a CHM file, a collection of HTML files, or even a collection of XML files.
Note: Building and associating are independent, and are not sequential stages.