The President’s Corner

Debra 2016By: Debra Johnson
President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC

Content is the lifeblood of an organization. Without content, products and/or services do not exist. Most organizations fail to understand that content is also a product; an asset to be managed. Content is created in many different ways by many different people and departments, often without a cohesive plan.

Managing this content effectively for a company can be like herding cats. Usually, walls are erected between content areas, causing incomplete pictures of the needed information…it’s really difficult to manage.

As a leader of a Technical Communication team, we pride ourselves in using the highest industry standards, strategies, and best practices to deliver quality content, so our readers can effectively understand and operate our products.

As a team, we involve everyone in the process!

  • Technical Communicators
  • Product Owners
  • Developers
  • Quality Assurance analysts
  • Management
  • Support
  • Customers

We research and create information about technology, products, or processes directed to a specific audience through various forms of media. It’s important we practice Technical Communication across all user abilities, so our readers benefit from safe, appropriate, and effective use of products, information, and services.

We plan our projects using a user-centered approach to providing the right information, in the right way, at the right time to make our readers’ lives easier and more productive.

Part of that approach is making sure content is structurally rich. We organize it properly for the user. This means it is easier to manage across different products, channels, and departments as well as easier to use, create, manipulate, and replace. If we can get it structurally rich, categorized, and discoverable, it is easier for customers to zero in on specific content. It’s when we don’t do these things that documentation fails.

– Debra

References:

  • Meghan Casey, the Content Strategy Toolkit, Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for getting content right
  • Kevin Nichols, Enterprise Content Strategy, A Project Guide
  • Peter Hartman, Starting a Documentation group, A hands-on guide
  • JoAnn Hackos, Information Development – Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio, and People
  • JoAnn Hackos, Managing Your Documentation Projects

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