Webinar: Planning User Documentation When You Are a Startup Business

In conjunction with The Society for Technical Communication, we’ll be presenting the webinar Planning User Documentation When You Are a Startup Business on Tuesday, 19th February.

In this presentation, we’ll look at how to plan a user documentation project when you’re working for a startup technology company. Working in this environment gives you the opportunity to work “from a clean sheet,” but it also has its own challenges of working in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment.
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Extra date for Trends in Technical Communication Workshop – Advanced Technical Writing Techniques

You’ll find we’ve added a new training course date on our Web site for our Trends in Technical Communication Workshop – Advanced Technical Writing Techniques.

It will be held on Monday 25th February.

The January course sold out within ten days, so it’s wise to book early.

If you’ve read the technical writing blogs and magazines, you’ll have noticed a growing interest in new approaches to technical communication – asking whether all of the tried-and-tested writing methods from past decades still make sense today.

In this course, you’ll find out how Technical Authors in leading companies are now applying techniques from other disciplines (such as psychology, copywriting, usability and elearning) into the information they create. The course has been designed to be independent of any particular authoring tool, and to work in both a structured and unstructured authoring environment.
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It’s sold out – Trends/advanced technical writing techniques course on 31 January

Our Trends/Advanced Technical Writing Techniques training course on the 31st January has already sold out. Sorry if you were planning to book. We had bookings from both large organisations, such as IBM, Sage and Sony, and individual freelance Technical Authors.

Given the amazing demand for the January course, we may schedule another public course towards the end of February. It will depend on the level of interest, so if you’re interested in attending this course, do please contact us and let us know.

The course would again be held in central London, close to Westminster tube station.

More information on the course content, pricing and target audience:

Announcing: Trends in Technical Communication Workshop – Advanced Technical Writing Techniques

You’ll find a new training course on our Web site called Trends in Technical Communication Workshop – Advanced Technical Writing Techniques.

If you’ve read the technical writing blogs and magazines, you’ll have noticed a growing interest in new approaches to technical communication – asking whether all of the tried-and-tested writing methods from past decades still make sense today.

In this course, you’ll find out how Technical Authors in leading companies are now applying techniques from other disciplines (such as psychology, copywriting, usability and elearning) into the information they create. The course has been designed to be independent of any particular authoring tool, and to work in both a structured and unstructured authoring environment.

If you want to discover new approaches to technical writing, this one-day, hands-on advanced workshop is right for you.

To start with, we’ll be offering this course on-site or in-house (i.e. at our training centre in Central London), with public courses following later on. As an on-site course, the exercises can be based around your existing content.

For more information, see Trends in Technical Communication Workshop – Advanced Technical Writing Techniques.

Anniversary discount for Cherryleaf’s Technical Author basic/induction online training course

It’s not Black Friday, but perhaps we can call it Grey Tuesday. As part of Cherryleaf’s 10th anniversary celebrations, we’ve created five 25% discount coupons for our popular Technical Author basic/induction online training course. The first five customers to use coupon code 09E2C3D43D when ordering the online course, will receive the 25% discount.

Note: This offer is limited to one per customer.

As they say, order now to avoid disappointment.

 

Cherryleaf featured in Data Quality Pro Journal – improving Healthcare data quality through policy and procedure management

Data Quality Pro logoIn Data Quality Pro Journal, Dylan Jones interviews Ellis Pratt, Director at Cherryleaf, about how to improve Healthcare data quality through policy and procedure management. According to Dylan,

“One of the single most common root-causes of poor information quality is outdated documentation and a lack of governance in the way policies and procedures are managed. Nowhere is this more critical than in the healthcare sector.”

Ellis shares a range of practical techniques and methods to help improve policy and procedure documentation within the healthcare sector.

Article – How to improve Healthcare data quality through policy and procedure management.

See also:

Cherryleaf’s online induction technical author course gains ISTC accreditation

This Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) has today accredited our £175 Technical author basic/induction training course. As this is an independent assessment of its quality, we’re delighted to have this course accreditation.

The ISTC’s reviewers provided us with a lot of feedback. This was more than a paper exercise and Technical Authors are never shy in making suggestions and comments to their peers. In light of some of the comments, we’ve tweaked some of the copy on the Web page . We’ve explained this is a course for people working in IT, rather than those working on planes, trains and automobiles type projects. They also picked up that we’d mentioned “Agile” and “User Assistance” in a module without explaining them – a fair point. There were other discussions, such as, should we have mentioned any documentation standards? If so, which one?

The course modules remain unaltered, although we have useful suggestions to implement whenever the course is revised.

The guilty pleasure of writing policy and procedure documents

We have a number of projects running at the moment that involve us improving organisations’ policy and procedures documents. It may not seem likely, but these projects are enormous fun.

The best analogy I can find is that it’s like rearranging someone else’s record collection. Or in a more modern setting, it’s like creating a playlist from someone else’s mp3 files. Everything ends up in order, or as Hans Christian Anderson said, “everything in the right place”.

The trick with policy and procedures documents is to break them in to small chunks of information, each of them preceded by a heading that describes the topic. The key factor is: each topic must only contain the information described by the heading. This activity results in the equivalent of a big bag of lego bricks – giving you, as your next step, the pleasant task of connecting and arranging all these topics into the right order.

To work in this modular, object, based way it’s best to avoid tools that take a more linear approach, such as Microsoft Word. We’d recommend, instead, you use a ‘modular’ authoring tool that enables you to generate a Word or PDF document once you’ve finished.