Why agile teams should care about documentation

I bring an excerpt of this article to you courtesy of Tom Thompson, as I think it brings to you opinions from other technical writers around the world to help expose new trends. You may view the original article here.

You don’t do documentation, so why should you care about it? How about missed deadlines, buggy code, and unhappy users?

Believe it or not, an agile approach to documentation can address all these problems—but only if the whole agile team is on board. Here’s why everyone should care about documentation and how to do documentation right. Continue reading “Why agile teams should care about documentation”

The DocOps Trend

The DocOps Trend: Applying Agile and DevOps to Technical Documentation

I bring an excerpt of this article to you courtesy of , as I think it brings to you methods and experiences from other technical writers around the world. You may view the original article here.

The advances and benefits in Agile programming and Agile project management are making headlines and grabbing a lot of attention these days. But what about technical documentation? Continue reading “The DocOps Trend”

Deepening documentation’s value by simplifying complexity

Value arguments for docs and tech comm

I bring an excerpt of this article to you courtesy of Tom Johnson, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.

SUMMARY: Technical writers can also deepen the value of the documentation they create by focusing on areas of complexity to users. Complexity not only involves articulating the “string theory” parts of a system but also formulating the content in a way that users, regardless of their level, can understand. The task of simplifying complexity can only be achieved by leveraging many perspectives across groups; thus, focusing on simplifying complexity will also achieve goals around enabling information flow and improving the customer experience.

Continue reading “Deepening documentation’s value by simplifying complexity”

How out-of-date documentation can cost you

As usual, I bring this article to you courtesy of JACQUIE SAMUELS, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.

Documentation is (sadly but understandably) often the last push in the great effort to get a product out the door and into the hands of your customers. Because it’s the last thing on a long list of release requirements, it sometimes gets downsized in effort or time or neglected completely. At the heart of the matter, companies feel like shirking on their documentation deliverables is a possible solution to time and budget crunches. They feel this way because they consider documentation as an add-on to the product, an extra bit of service provided to customers but not an essential component of the product itself.

 

Guess what: That’s not how customers see it.

Continue reading “How out-of-date documentation can cost you”

16 Reasons Why Your Users Do Not Read User Documentation

I bring this article to you courtesy of Dennis Crane, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.

 

Nobody reads help files!

Are you sure?

In the ten years that we’ve been developing Dr.Explain, a leading-edge tool for creating help files, we saw hundreds of our customers’ projects. Our technical support team mostly receives user documentation for software products with requests to help implement some tricks. When talking with our customers, we ask them all kinds of questions about their projects, business areas, products, and audiences.
Based on that experience, we can draw a lot of conclusions, including this one: Users do read user documentation. In many cases, users frequently consult with such documentation. In some projects, it is a vital component of the product or services.

However, sometimes people do not use user documentation. In most cases, the reasons are as follows.

Continue reading “16 Reasons Why Your Users Do Not Read User Documentation”

The changing nature of content

I bring this article to you courtesy of Ellis Pratt, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.

Technology has changed enormously over the last 70 years. But have technical communication standards kept up sufficiently to reflect these changes? It appears that some of the most successful software companies are breaking generally accepted best practice in technical writing – a trend that clearly should get us thinking.

If you were going back in time twenty or twenty five years and found yourself in a classroom learning about technical writing, you’d probably find it was almost identical to classes on this subject offered today. Technical communicators tend to assume that technical communication best practices, which have been taught for the past 25 years, and even further back in time, are still appropriate today.

Continue reading “The changing nature of content”

Ten things Clients should know about Technical Writing

I bring this article to you courtesy of Ron C Johnson, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.

As you might expect, technical writing is not just about writing. Certainly writing is a core skill, but depending on the job, the industry, and the purpose of the writing, a technical writer may wear many hats. Often tech writers’ responsibilities touch on editing, graphics, photography, formatting, marketing, training, designing, and document management/control, just to name a few. Continue reading “Ten things Clients should know about Technical Writing”

Great documentation saves money

I bring this article to you courtesy of Jacquie Samuels, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.

GREAT DOCUMENTATION CAN SAVE YOU BIG BUCKS WHEN IT COMES TO SUPPORT BY JACQUIE SAMUELS

Let’s get back to the basics for a moment. Technical documentation has many diverse drivers, but ultimately, it all strives to perform one function: assist users so they can do what they want to do with the product. Sometimes they already know what they want to do, other times the documentation helps educate them.

Continue reading “Great documentation saves money”

Standard Operating Procedures

I bring this article to you courtesy of Marcia Weedon, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.

THE WELL WRITTEN SOP – CRITICAL FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT BY MARCIA WEEDEN

The well-written SOP provides the baseline against which thoughtful and effective improvements can be planned and implemented.

Many companies put off documenting their processes and procedures because they are too sheepish to admit that these are not yet in a state of perfection. Perfection, however, is never a requirement for the well-written SOP.

Continue reading “Standard Operating Procedures”