Re: Persuation

Subject: Re: Persuation
From: "Laura Winkelspecht" <daisylion -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: bernice_kieffer -at- mentorg -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 19:52:49 PST

Delurking...

I recently had to do this exact thing. The arguments I used included the following:

Writing skill. Even people who think they have good writing skills might not be able to write technical documentation. Just like I could never write a novel. ;)

Documentation system skill. Unless a person is going to use the system on a regular basis, it wastes much time just becoming familiar with the system. In addition, a tech writer will know how to format and organize a manual to make it the most user friendly.

Having an SME do the documentation takes the SME away from what they are supposed to be doing, what they are trained and paid to do. Because of this, documentation usually is low on the priority list. If a company feels documentation is important (if it's not, why do it?), they should have someone doing it who will be able to give it the attention it deserves.

Additionally, documentation projects an image that the company must be
willing to accept. If documentation is unprofessional, what does that say about the company?

Finally, it all boils down to getting people to read the manual. If they don't use the manual because it's poorly organized, hard to understand, and not formatted and written from their perspective, they would rather call a help desk, ask someone else, try to figure it out themselves, or not use the product.

Laura Winkelspecht
Documentation Coordinator


bernice kieffer asks:

I find myself in need of some ideas for a 15 minute persuasive speech
I have to give for a presentation class. Question: If you only had 15
minutes, what arguments would you use to convince someone that they
should hire a technical writer for thier next writing project?

You can reply to me offline if you perfer.


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