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 | Project Managers and Technical Writers

Michael Clark/ January 13, 2018/ Technical Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

I always tell the Project Manager that being organised is a technical authoring skill. They juggle many tasks and switch between them with ease. They also have great people skills working with coders, engineers, and technicians of various shades. In the meantime, they manage a ream of documentation while taking instructions from SMEs. Occasionally a project manager who has never

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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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_sentence 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 | Sourcing a technical writer

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

When sourcing a technical author, ensure their experience matches your requirements. You need to source one who has the right knowledge, background and expertise. At the interview, they should talk through that experience; if not keep searching until you do. Productive years as a Technical Writer An experienced Technical writer can only be an asset to your team or project. The longer

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Technical Writing | Technical documentation vs Helpdesk

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

Technical Documentation vs Helpdesk – Despite the reluctance to invest in technical documentation, many managers bypass a proven way to cut back on calls to the Helpdesk. No doubt many helpdesks provide an excellent service and manage the demands of the users. The problem with most technical documentation including user guides is that it is incomplete and full of gaps.

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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 | 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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Technical Writing | Hiring a Technical Writer

Michael Clark/ October 13, 2013/ Documentation, Technical Writer, Technical Writing

Budgets for the job When you start the process of Hiring a Technical Writer, my advice is this: do not cut corners when sourcing a budget: Check the daily rates/hourly rates. Do not expect an experienced technical writer if the daily rate is derisory. If your rate is low, you will attract Technical Writers with less experience whereby the result could be a

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