Don’t let the title of Technical Author fool you. Regardless of your opinion, do not underestimate us. We have the potential to offer unexpected help in more ways than one. Allow me to dispel the myth regarding our identity.
What I or WE are NOT
If I had proficiency in BASIC, C/C++, Java, et cetera, I would earn significantly more as a developer. I receive calls for API documentation, a skill requiring familiarity with the code.
I will be careful here. I am not a project manager certified through Prince2, Agile Scrum, etc. My PM skills apply to technical documentation, whereby I set my schedule and arrange meetings with SMEs and other stakeholders.
Beyond documentation, my PM skills do not stretch to:
- The provision of detailed project planning, including progress evaluation, risk management, issue and resolution. If that is essential, hire a full-time project manager.
- A secretary organising the working lives of colleagues and taking minutes. I record my meetings (with a dictaphone) and extract the relevant information for the documents.
Technical authoring is lengthy, and additional expectations could delay my progress. It’s time to open the heads of SMEs to extract all that hidden information. I then use it to build a document explaining to your non-technical audience how it works.
While I will be familiar with the terminology, remember I am not an expert in your department. I learn on the job.
I am skilled in facilitating communication and collaboration through effective verbal and written communication. I provide support and encouragement to help achieve goals, and the process is not as daunting as it may seem.
I’m a third party.
As an external consultant, I decided, after a period of reflection on your situation and expectations, to use MoSCoW. That stands for four different categories of initiatives:
- could-haves, and
- will not have.
The “W”, should you prefer, can mean wishful thinking.
Let me have it.
When I join, please throw your documentation at me, everything, wherever it is, and let me sift through it all. I have my own Excel spreadsheets to track and control the documentation.
Define how to manage documents/content with SharePoint and Confluence.
The efficient management of both applications improves the information available to your teams.
By now, I know where the knowledge gaps are where I can improve the documents and start working with your SMEs.
As mentioned above, I possess the relevant skills within the context of a technical author.
- Design new template
- Improve the structure of existing documents
- Process documentation across several categories,
- Arrange meetings with SME’s,
- I use tried and tested methods to plan, write, review, publish, and maintain the content.
- Write/update the documents.
- Procedures and processes updates,
An aid to content development
With over 23 years of experience behind me, I already own an extensive library of generic documentation and various templates. If you have no documentation, we can tweak any document to meet your business profile. It saves not only time but also money.
ITIL and ITSM
I have experience in producing the following document types:
- IT Service Management (ITSM) based on ITIL best practices. Level 1 to 4 BPMN VISIO Processes and Narratives.
- Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement,
- Delivery and Service Support,
- IT Service Continuity Management;
- Configuration Management and
- Service Desk.
Policy and Process
- Delivering written Policy, Process & Standards
- ISO27001/9001 compliance documentation to support a company’s GDPR, PCI/DSS, security project
- Documentation to support a disaster recovery scenario
- Operating infrastructure documentation to support the functions of a large-scale network
- A documentation suite to help IT teams manage a recently migrated infrastructure.
Editing Existing Content
Enhancements may include:
- adding VISIO drawings,
- new screenshots,
- reword policies and content per se,
- additional narrative to processes that are light on information,
- new templates, and
- Structure to existing Word documents and consistency.
All information needs a peer review by people who should know the data best and provide feedback. I leave nothing to chance to get what you need in place.
Apart from spreadsheets, MS Word, PowerPoint, and VISIO, my skills keep these projects on track. I will also suggest ways in which you can keep the documentation up-to-date and current. Information is an asset, and without it, you could place the business at a disadvantage.
SharePoint and Confluence
Suppose you have no official documentation strategy or a way to manage the documentation. If so, let me create a plan that will work for you. Documentation must be available to all staff and updated, rewritten, and archived appropriately. Ownership, version control, and historical control are other aspects that need managing.
If the business uses Confluence, my experience on a client site is an overload of outdated content irrelevant to the company. I can analyse all spaces and check when the content was written and submitted.
There are too many to mention, but the immediate impact will be on the following three points:
- Reduced costs
- more responsive help desk/support
- better informed staff
- Confidence in performing procedures.