Re: Question - Training Guides - Who Writes?

Subject: Re: Question - Training Guides - Who Writes?
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, Margaret Alston <diamondvapor5 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2009 13:44:51 -0700 (PDT)

There is never any substitute for hands-on experience. I think the best of all possible worlds is for the training guides to be written by someone who has experience as a trainer, and who works hands-on with the device/application/whatever that is the object of the training, and who has interfaced directly with the clients.

There will, of course, always be some differences between how the d/a/whatever actually works and how it is described in the documentation. Working with it hands-on serves as a test run for the training, and gives you an accuracy check.

Knowing the way in which the guides are actually used in training gives you knowledge of which areas need to be given priority, and that can affect how information is arranged in the training materials. During actual training, some steps will take longer than others because they require more explanation, some will be more risky and the students will need information on those steps. So the material needs to take into account those differences in emphasis.

Working directly with the clients gives you the clearest information about what their real concerns are - which subjects are most important to them, what results they really want to see come out of the training. That also can affect what you put in the training materials and how things in those materials are prioritized. You can get information on client concerns from someone else whose job it is to interface with them, but that is second hand information and there is always some chance it may be a little erroneous for having been filtered through someone else's perceptions. Again, there is never any substitute for getting something first hand.

So...hands-on experience with the object of the training, experience in training, information on client concerns...Of these three, I personally think the hands-on experience is always the most important because it is the one that has the most effect on the accuracy of the information presented during training. The other factors have more effect on the scope of the training and/or the way in which the information is presented.


--- On Fri, 9/11/09, Margaret Alston <diamondvapor5 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

> From: Margaret Alston <diamondvapor5 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> Subject: Question - Training Guides - Who Writes?
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Date: Friday, September 11, 2009, 2:35 PM
> Hi all:
>  
> At my last 3 jobs, the trainers themselves wrote the
> training guides and the Documentation dept reviewed and
> prettied them up. At this job, I am told that I am
> responsible for writing up all the procedures as well. I
> don't go out and train, I can only just look at the software
> and write the routines, which is fine but I don't know
> business processes and am not close to the clients,
> obviously. I would think being close to the clients makes
> for more 'real" training.
>  
> Can anyone comment on this? What do you think is ideal?
> What are your company experiences?
>  
> Thanks
> J
>
>
>      
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers
> developing Table of
> Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as
> Doc-To-Help 
> 2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
> http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/
>
> Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for
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> authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface.
> Write
> once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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Question - Training Guides - Who Writes?: From: Margaret Alston

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