Writing Remotely

Now that the four day week is becoming more popular, so is remote writing. Investing in a laptop can make remote writing much easier. A laptop with an internal network card can provide Internet access for online publishing at any remote location with wireless access.

 

For certain types of writing the writer may need to be on location. But after the meetings, product reviews and engineering changes have been completed, writing can begin at any time or location.

 

Some of our writers attend all engineering meetings via conference call. After hanging up the phone the writing begins and the team begins to collaborate on the content of the documents. Writers go on-site one to five times a year depending on the need of the client. In some cases, the writer meets the client once, and writes for that client on an open-ended contract.

 

Just think of the money saved by the client and the writer at a time when gas prices may soar higher than we have ever imagined.

 

The clients and writers can focus on their business instead of worrying about what the price of gas will be tomorrow.

 

Email

Website

Advertisements

Continuity of Business Effort

Writing projects require some management by the technical writer.  Implementing the document life cycle can ensure continuity of effort and more successful writing projects.

 

Freelance writers need to help their clients understand this process prior to starting projects. SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and other necessary resources should be identified and ready when the technical writer is hired. Sometimes we find the other resources were never identified thus making the continuity of effort more difficult. Of course, there are ways to handle these issues but the more issues that can be avoided the happier the writers and the clients.

 

For example, systems development documentation may require that the technical writer be involved during the time the system is being developed.  Our manufacturing clients have found that having our technical writers involved during the development process improves their bottom line since our writers can work closely with engineers on-site or remotely. If the writer isn’t included during the development phase alternative document life cycles can be implemented. But, of course, like with many things, knowledge is power, so the initial meetings held prior to contracting should discuss these issues.

 

Depending on the document life cycle needed to ensure continuity of business effort a client can determine if the technical writing should be done in-house or utilizing a freelance methodology that suits their documentation needs.  

 

Website

Email

 

Systems and Business Process Writing

Documentation is required for a company to move forward in the development of critical systems and business processes. RUP, UML and SDLC can all come into play here for larger projects so it is good to have a solid analytical and proven methodology for providing quality systems and business documents.

Corporations invest time and money to learn these methodologies and sometimes the benefits and monetary gains are intangible.

Let us say you have a team with expertise in the critical systems and business processes. Their knowledge of the critical systems and processes are accurate and exceeds expectations. The team’s technology skills consist of word processing, spreadsheets and some graphic illustration. From the technical communicator’s point of view, this may very well be a team of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). The technical communicator with graphic illustration and writing skills can meet with your SMEs and start producing system and business process diagrams after each meeting is completed.

But let us take a closer look at your team. Do they have the time to produce the diagrams? Is there an easy to learn graphics illustration package in-house that a team member can use to illustrate and document the critical paths? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then this may be a technical communicator project that you can do in-house. If the answer is no, consider a freelance writer to document your critical systems and business path, using the SMEs with a clear understanding of the critical paths.

Clients allocate months for projects that may only need a few weeks if enough thought is put into constructing a documentation solution for a project.

Save time and money by looking at all of your options first.

Sometimes the answers are right in front of your nose!

Email
Website

The Third Phase of the Project – Panic

The rumors are circulating.

 

Promised due dates for early deliverables have not been met and talk of mandatory overtime are abound as employees mill about in conspiratorial whispering at familiar locations.

 

Key technical employees have resigned in a huff, leaving critical staff openings while irreplaceable talent walks out the door, passing an in-stream flow of independent consultants on their way in.

 

Panic has gripped the departments and careers are hanging by an untenable thread as flurries of meetings are conducted much the same way as a military inquisition.

 

The copying machines are now going into overdrive as resumes take priority over project and status reports. Absences are at an all-time high and morale is inversely lower.

Vacations are placed on hold, if not canceled altogether. There is a standing joke among the ranks that simply states: An optimist is a person who brings their lunch to work!

Skills for Technical Writers

EducationTechnical Writers must be effective technical communicators and develop

as many skills as possible. The documentation, advertisements, sales brochures,

and more need to be mastered for print and web.Photo and Design

 

 

If the content is reusable, it is a benefit to your client and makes you a refined technical writer/communicator.

 

Digital photographs can be reused to create a variety of documentation and web

content.

 

As new technologies are developed, a technical writer may find the need to frequently add to their skills.Binders

 

 

 

 

Learn, Learn, and Learn!

Essential Technical Writing skills for the future