Demystifying Technical Writing: 10 dos/don’ts for a technical writer

artical PictureInformation is best used when documented. A written record can be referenced, re-used, and enhanced. Technical Writers work in teams comprising Business Analysts, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Software Developers, Quality Specialists, and Translators. All team members are managed by Project Managers. So what happens when you ask a Technical Writer to create documentation for a product? Very simply put, they follow a logical phased process such as Define → Plan → Write → Review → Publish.Swaroop Lawrence, Chief marketing officer, TWB, shares his views on this entire phase.

Each of these phases requires them to engage with various team members to roll out information in order to understand the business, product, and audience. Once they have their requirements defined it’s all about planning activities, defining milestones, and tracking the progress of their project.

Now nothing gets published without that significant quality approval. That’s called a Review. There are reviews for technical accuracy, writing standards, and the final copy edit check. Global writing standards and company-specific rules play a huge part in achieving quality goals. So this is where the pressure is the highest.

Finally, once you have it clean and approved, it’s time to release the information, or in Technical Writing terms, publish your content. Various software authoring tools are used throughout this process, enabling the Technical Writer to focus on writing and quality. A good Technical Writer is a professional who has very good writing skills, an eye for detail, and an inquiring mind. They have the ability to understand how businesses work and question various aspects to get complete business domain knowledge. Good listening skills, and interviewing skills are key characteristics of an experienced Technical Writer.

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