Technical authors : a technical document nightmare

The chaos of Technical Documentation Management: A guide to saving your sanity

The document management system presents a formidable challenge to oversee. Documents flow in and out, undergo changes and deletions, and find their place in the archives. In the middle of this, the document controller resembles a conductor orchestrating the music to the epic tune of Wagner’s “Ride of The Valkyries.”

So, if you are one of the many who control technical documentation, what is your state of mind?

The Agony of the Document Controller: A Tragicomedy

The document controller struggles to keep up with the never-ending flow of documents. Despite having guidelines to follow, it feels like an endless task. For every correctly filed document, ten more appear that are mislabelled and misplaced. People who refuse to comply fill the inbox with excuses.

Expectations vs. Reality: The Grand Illusion

Documents must be well-tagged, searchable, and updated without straining muscle. However, they have confusing titles, and the search function can be unreliable, leading to error messages instead of desired results.

Where is that document?

Complaints flood in from frustrated users because the expected title is not in the search results, which run into the hundreds. Why, you ask? Because the document does not have the correct title because of the creativity of the document authors. 

Heed my words: It’s common to believe everyone will follow document naming conventions. Still, creativity thrives in the chaos of file naming, leading to an imprecise array of document titles. This is one error on the path to documentation anarchy. 

Training… Must I do that?

Refrain from assuming that training sessions on the document management system will be as popular as a free lunch seminar. In reality, it’s more like hosting a party where the only person attending is the echo of your voice reminding people to use metadata tags.

A Beacon of Hope: Persuasion Over Coercion

But do not fear, as there is still hope. Our document controller, armed with humour and unwavering patience, embarks on a quest to turn the tide. They learn that persuasion, sprinkled with humour, is mightier than the sword (or the forceful email).

Creating engaging tutorials that don’t induce sleep, gamifying the process of correct document submission, and celebrating small victories with the team can turn the tide. Suddenly, the document management system isn’t a beast to be feared but a puzzle to be solved.

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