The phases of project initiation and project closure are substantially covered in blog posts, talks, and other resources across the TechComm society. Today, I would like to address a less frequently discussed phase – replacing a technical communicator in a project team.
One of the typical ways for agreeing to have project documentation in place is this:
- Customer voices the need for documentation (on a side note, product-based software companies are not considered in this discussion).
- Documentation team provides the estimates.
- Estimates are adjusted and approved.
This works well for new projects and new features in existing projects. On a side note, this also assumes that the people who give the final approval for documentation do understand why documentation is needed.
But what about legacy projects, the ones that are poorly documented or not documented at all? How do you convince the company (or the customer) that documentation is needed?
Earlier this summer, I had a chance to attend a lecture called “The power of deep interviews” by Maryna Ptashnyk of Bambuk Design Studio. Targeted at designers doing field interviews with customers, it provided several tips & tricks that made me rethink how I myself as an Information Developer prepare and ask questions during the interviews.
Guilty as charged, but PDFs are just the tip of the iceberg. This sticker caught my eye the other day and got me thinking. What do the stakeholders and the team think I do?
One of the things you need to give a thought to when preparing the docs is the user data that will show up on your screenshots and in your examples.
A very straightforward and down-to-earth example – the sign-up functionality for a website. Let’s take a very common case like signing up for Twitter.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And while reading the actual book may be the ‘proper’ thing to do, you can always get away with visuals & short summaries just to get a quick and easy grasp of what the whole thing is about. With that in mind, I’d like to share some of the resources based on Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath that we reviewed in one of our previous posts.