Technical Writing | General Data Protection Regulations

writer201/ January 21, 2018/ Document management, Documentation, GDPR, Process Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

GDPR On the 25th May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force. Companies outside the EU If your Company actively trades within the EU and stores, processes or shares EU citizens’ data, then GDPR does apply to you. Compliance and documentation One of the primary rules is that under GDPR Process activities MUST be documented. Companies are required to maintain

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Technical Writing | Passive vs Active Sentences

Michael Clark/ January 11, 2018/ Documentation, Technical Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

What is a passive sentence? A Passive sentence is a grammatical voice prevalent in many of the world’s languages. In a clause with a passive voice, the grammatical subject expresses the theme or patient of the main verb – that is, the person or thing that undergoes the action or has its state changed. Passive vs Active I can

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Technical Writing | Interviewing SMEs

Michael Clark/ January 9, 2018/ Documentation, Process Documentation, Technical Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are essential to enable you the technical author to write that document. Without their input you will struggle. So, how does an experienced technical writer consider approaching and interviewing SME? I base my advice on my personal experiences of talking to and working with SMEs. You will no doubt find, like me, that some SMEs are difficult

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Technical Writing | Professional vs Amateur, its a matter of choice

Michael Clark/ January 9, 2018/ Documentation, Technical Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

A LinkedIn connection shared a poster, which read: Professional vs Amateur; If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur. In 2004 I had two interviews; one in Watford and Cambridge. Both were software companies looking for a Technical Writer. Neither interview went to plan as in both cases the interviewer seemed distracted and uncertain what

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Technical Writing | The risks of poor document management

Michael Clark/ January 8, 2018/ Document management, Documentation, Technical Documentation, Technical Writer

The risks of poor document management stem from managing multiple types of documents in different formats, workflows and updates. If the documents, which are in constant use have no defined structure it will lead to an uncontrolled and unmanaged repository. This haphazard approach to managing the document Lifecycle impedes employee productivity. The scenario is this: you are sitting at your desk when your

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Technical Writing | Disaster Recovery Plan

Michael Clark/ January 7, 2018/ Disaster recovery, disaster recovery plan, Documentation, Technical Writer

Document the Disaster Recovery Plan Remember, to be effective you must be prepared to document the plan. Without the documentation you risk the possibility of NOT recovering from a disaster, therefore placing the entire company at risk. If you have no existing documentation that describes the functions of the company’s servers and their hosted Applications, consider writing relevant Operating Document. In the

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Technical Writing | What is technical writing and why you need it

Michael Clark/ January 7, 2018/ Documentation, Technical Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

What is Technical Writing? Technical writing is a skill and should you hear a Project Manager or Subject Matter Expert say: ‘anyone can write so “why do you need a Technical Writer?” continue reading. Technical Writing like many jobs has many facets. The fact you see Writer in the job title suggests to the uninitiated that primarily we write. You

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Technical Writing | Hire a Technical Writer sooner, rather than later

Michael Clark/ January 6, 2018/ Documentation, GDPR, Policy documentation, Procedure documentation, Process Documentation, Technical Documentation

As a Technical Writer with over Twenty Years of experience, I have a question for Project Managers and Subject Matter Experts. Have you ever been involved in planning a project (PCI, GDPR, ISO27001, ITIL) where documentation is critical; if so, how did it go? Crucially, did the project achieve its aims of delivering ALL the documentation? If not – do

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Technical Writing | A brief guide to documentation projects for Project Managers

Michael Clark/ June 14, 2015/ Document management, Documentation

A brief guide to managing documentation projects for Project Managers will demonstrate that when done correctly will produce long-term benefits. Here are some examples to help keep your documentation on track. The original writer is not the best person to check their documentation because they very rarely spot their mistakes. Arrange for a peer review and/or technical review of all

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Technical Writing | Why your business needs Technical documentation

Michael Clark/ May 13, 2014/ Documentation, Process Documentation, Technical Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

Managers underestimate the purpose of technical documentation until they discover they have no relevant documentation. Listed below are 6 reasons why you need technical documentation Without technical documentation you have no historical record of any project ever completed within the company You have no metrics against which to measure current projects You have no information which outlines the lessons learned and

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