January 29, 2015

Put the Tech Doc on Management's Agenda

Something that’s really stuck out for me in my two years working with technical documentation is this enduring friction between technical documentation groups and business managers— they just don’t understand each other. While management chronically undervalues the very purpose of the tech doc, frustrated technical documentation groups are silently teeming with knowledge of it’s hidden potential.

Many companies are stuck in this belief that the tech doc is a “necessary evil,” existing only because the law, and even the customers, demand it. They fail to see the obvious reasons why the tech doc is money well spent, and thus de-prioritize investment in the proper CCMS and translation tools that technical documentation groups need to do their best.

I think this misunderstanding comes down to the fact that technical documentation groups aren’t so good at explaining the hidden potentials of the tech doc. They need to portray these potentials in “manager-speak”— that is, in terms of the company-wide value the tech doc can offer, that which extends beyond the technical documentation department.

What follows are three key examples of how the tech doc creates value for everyone. So take notes, tech writers—this is your starting point for your next conversation with management, and the key to upgrading your CCMS toolkit.

1) Save Money with Reduced Sales Documentation Errors

When Tech Doc and Sales departments coordinate, costly sales documentation errors can be eliminated. How? By automating documentation updates on par with the consistently up-to-date tech doc. Such quality control can be achieved across documentation companywide, with a CCMS that allows cross-system integration.

2) Raise the Bar for Customer Support

When the Tech Doc and Customer Support departments talk, not only can they synchronize on developing more effective Q&A support, they can also cut back on time previously spent re-writing what one or the other department has already written.

Furthermore, with the right CCMS tools, creating customized manuals becomes a seamless process, and can significantly cut back on unnecessary calls to support from customers who have questions about a feature or add-on mentioned in their manual, which is not present on their model.

3) Acquire New Customers with Coordinated Marketing Efforts

Marketing is working hard on the major keywords, while tech doc people are putting a lot of effort into establishing common language via terminology databases. Align them to ensure you are your customers’ first point of contact when it comes to obtaining both product and company knowledge online.

Read more about the benefits of Marketing and tech doc teamwork here.

With these few examples illustrating the (proper CCMS-powered) tech doc’s potential to affect positive transformation company-wide, management is sure to raise an eyebrow and open up to further conversation.

What else can the tech doc and the right CCMS achieve? Contact me to find out: niklas.thorin@excosoft.se

Was that fun? Explore our blog archives for even more articles by Niklas and other bloggers here at Excosoft.

About the author

Niklas Thorin

Niklas specializes in marketing and sales, and is backed by extensive experience in leading positions within frontline global technology companies.

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