It's time to reframe technical documentation from what we do to how we add value.
To do so, it's important to consider questions like these:
- Do you know the major business objectives for your company, for this year? What are three critical goals or initiatives?
How does the work you do help or hinder those objectives?
If you don't know your company's key objectives, how can you find out?
- How are documentation and training perceived by upper management at your company?
Is your work a checkbox on the requirements list, or is it a critical success factor?
- Does the work you do help to solve customer problems?
Are you focused on documenting features, or on making sure your customers have information that can help them solve problems?
Do you have the support you need to develop the latter? Do stakeholders within your company realize the value you can bring?
- Is the glass half empty, or half full?
When you propose changes, do they come across as complaints, or as innovations that will significantly add to your organizations' competitive advantage?
We know we need to think about these kinds of issues, but it's hard to do so when our day-to-day work is focused around meeting tight schedules and getting deliverables out the door.
Bring your experiences, ideas, and questions to this interactive session for an opportunity to stop and think about your role in the organization, and identify what you can do to increase your visibility and focus on your value.
Linda Urban & Joan Lasselle
Linda Urban is an independent consultant with over 20 years experience in technical communication. She works on product usability, help systems, software and hardware documentation, and training. Linda focuses on developing solutions that meet user needs and company goals, and her work has received local and international STC awards. She also teaches in the technical communication programs at UC Berkeley Extension and UC Santa Cruz Extension. Her company is Linda Urban Communications, LLC.
Joan Lasselle is founder and President of Lasselle-Ramsay, Inc., a professional services company that develops business information and learning solutions that drive superior user experience, productivity, and change. Lasselle-Ramsay focuses on four practice areas: content management, technical documentation, training development, and on-the-job information tools. Since 1982, Lasselle-Ramsay has worked with major high-tech manufacturers to develop technical documentation solutions for commercial products.