Technical Authors | How important are we?

A manager hired a technical author to write project documentation. However, the final document failed to meet expectations. The writer did not consult with the subject matter experts (SMEs) and as a result, the document failed to provide answers to questions.

A hiring manager asked about the significance of technical authors in a project. He had hired someone to write the project’s documentation. Unfortunately, the final document did not meet expectations. The hiring manager had hoped that the documentation would provide answers to questions. However, the writer produced a document without consulting subject matter experts (SMEs). As a result, the document failed to meet expectations. 

The issue: Leaders don’t understand what we do. Here are some critical aspects of his dilemma: 

Recognising the Mistake: The manager acknowledged not hiring a technical writer meant a loss of information. 

Comprehensive documentation is essential to prevent the manager from being bombarded with daily questions. 

Impact on Productivity: Well-documented processes and procedures enhance the team’s productivity. 

Post-Project Challenges: The absence of proper documentation poses challenges post-project. It makes maintenance, knowledge transfer, and support more difficult and costly. 

Underestimating Technical Author Expertise: No one recognised our expertise.

Future Planning: To acknowledge the significance of technical documentation in all upcoming projects. If you hire us in the project planning phase, we can ensure a complete documentation process throughout the project lifecycle. 

Learning from the Experience: The manager knows our expertise exists and we can enhance the success of a project. 

In the short term, the manager needs to deal with the challenges caused by the lack of documentation. This might involve documenting critical information or finding alternative solutions to the daily questions. The manager’s dilemma underscores the importance of technical documentation. It emphasises the value of technical authors at every stage of the project’s development.

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