Requirements that you didn’t know were there (Write the Docs Europe 2017)

Proudly presenting the slides from my talk at Write the Docs Europe 2017, now on SlideShare!

Plus, fresh recording of the live talk.

For those of you who missed it, here’s a short intro.

Every doc that you deliver is as useful as the requirements it satisfies. Typical requirements revolve around target audience, method of delivery, technical limitations. But after the doc is done, then come unexpected expectations. John – your key stakeholder – dislikes clichés like corporate templates and wants to stand out with neat Apple-styled docs. Also, it was a mistake to tell him about similar ‘really cool docs’ you already did for his colleague Jane because apparently they don’t get along well, and now he proudly decided that he won’t mimic her decisions… Suddenly, your docs should not only make users happy, but also help your stakeholders achieve their aims – move up a career ladder, impress the manager, get a bigger paycheck. The success of your docs depends on requirements that you are never told but are still expected to meet. This presentation is about reading your stakeholders and deducing the ultimate requirements.

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An eye for an eyepatch: pirate’s guide to content strategy

To all my underappreciated hard-working
InfoDevs in the world, I dedicate this
dead man’s chest of doc cases.
And a bottle of rum. Harr!

‘No one ever reads documentation, why bother with it?’

Favorite opening line of any techie, heard every time when I introduce myself as an Information Developer. I hope I don’t burn in hell when I say that more often than not, I as an Information Developer agree.

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7 things to remember when starting a documentation project

Setting up a documentation project from scratch may be quite a challenging task, especially when you do it for the first time. On the one hand, you are excited about the new beginning. But on the other hand, looking for anchors to start the documentation process drives you into despair. Yet, if you start thinking strategically about your content, it may brighten up your life.

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Metrics: useful resources

Sooner or later, each seasoned Information Developer starts wondering whether the quality of content produced can be measured. And so do Information Development Managers. However, in addition to content quality metrics, managers care about one more aspect—measuring the productivity of their department in order to improve and streamline their team efforts.

Thus, when thinking of developing and introducing metrics in your organization, you should think of at least two metrics to assess:

  • Content quality
  • Work productivity

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