Re: Documentation seminar -Reply

Subject: Re: Documentation seminar -Reply
From: Connie Winch <CEW -at- MACOLA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:11:42 -0500

STC has sponsored this research on this topic. Ginny Redish and Judith
Ramey conducted it, and they published their results in a May 1994
report to STC called "Measuring the value added by technical
communicators". It has chapter titles like

Measuring how professional technical communicators add value
A good user's guide means fewer support calls and lower support costs
How the process and organization can help or hinder adding value

I searched STC's web site for information on ordering this report, and I
didn't find it...which of course doesn't mean they don't have it...but
if they don't you might try contacting Ms. Redish or Ms. Ramey directly.

Hope this helps.

-Connie Winch
Technical Writer
Macola, Inc.
cew -at- macola -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Carol Van Natta [SMTP:CVANNATT -at- ITC -dot- NRCS -dot- USDA -dot- GOV]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 1998 8:42 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Documentation seminar -Reply
> Warren, I think you're putting the cart before the horse, as it
> were. Your proposed seminar is about process, when it
> sounds like you really ought to be first talking about value.
> I'd also like to suggest that you get management involved,
> because if they don't see the value (i.e., cost benefit) in
> good-quality documentation, all the seminars in the world
> won't change your situation. Right now, the company has it
> easy -- they dump it on you and forget about it. You'll have to
> come up with some fairly powerful reasons why they should
> take on the extra work of planning, reviewing, etc.
> You need to educate everyone on the benefits of
> documentation (other than "users expect it" and "the
> competition does it"). Do research on whether it reduces
> service or support calls, or influences big-customer buying
> decisions, or whatever. Once you've made your point and
> gotten buy-in on the fact that good, planned documentation
> is more profitable than rushed, error-prone documentation,
> _then_ you can talk process and procedure.

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