May 15, 2014

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Technical Writing and its Business Value

In this growing era of technological environment the things are becoming complex. Things that look simpler on GUI have the most complex functions and procedures running behind. Most of the IT professionals think that developing, testing, maintaining and supporting a software solution is sufficient to survive in this frequently changing IT environment. Let’s think about Technical Writing and understand how it adds value to an IT organization.

Now, let’s think about the today’s competitive business market of the IT industry, where market leaders are efficient enough to provide cutting edge technical solutions. Since software solutions are becoming complex enough to cater the globalized business needs.  You can’t expect a user to learn and understand an entire IT system, which is full of business logics and have plenty of functions to perform. Moreover, you can’t afford a dedicated person (or a team of professionals) to assist the user every time the user seeks for help.

Here the technical writing adds value to the business by assisting users anytime and anywhere the user wants. Therefore it is said that “Something that is not documented is not developed”. A detailed user guide helps understand the user what, Why, How, and When the user should use the system. Therefore, the user can understand how the system is adding value to their business as well. In today’s scenario, Technical writing has the potential to provide a thick competitive edge over your business rivals.

This was all about an IT organization and its target customers. Think about Technical Writing inside the organization.

What will happen, when a key player of the software solution moves out and a new player has to take his place? Who assists in training the new comers to understand the existing system? Why we offer a set of documents for going through to most of the new comers in the organization? Have you ever wondered who wrote those documents, which provides an overall understanding about the system?

Most of the people think that System Architects, Solution Architects, Product Managers and other stakeholders write those documents. If yes, have you ever seen them writing and publishing documents? If no, then you must think about “Technical Writer”. A person who work behind the scenes and produces these reusable knowledge base.

A Technical Writer interacts with domain experts, developers, testers, and other stakeholders and gathers all important aspects of the system. He/She then collates this information in a logical way by mapping all aspects of software functions to a business requirement.

An IT Industry expert understands a business value of technical writing, some of those as follows:

  • Key player in transforming information within the organization as per roles and responsibilities of an individual.
  • A person who understands overall system, apart from stakeholders.
  • Greatly useful for catering training requirement of the organization.
  • Effectively communicate the core technical concepts in a simpler and in a user-friendly manner.
  • Helps the sales person to draft their sales speech about product functionalities, which is in-line with the business needs of the target customer.

Technical Writing is a well-known profession in western countries like UK and USA as compared to India. Since, India is now more than two decades older in IT industry and new players are replacing the existing leaders, the Technical Writing is gaining recognition here as well. Since Technical Writers have better understanding about product users, they are also contributing in designing systems to make them user friendly than ever before, thereby adding more value to an organization. We look forward a better and more competitive future in the field of Technical Writing.

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