Lessons for technical communicators from the telecommunications sector

It’s often useful to look at the economic and technological pressures in other industries, to see if the trends emerging there are relevant to the technical communications/publications sector. In recent Blogs, we’ve covered the issues emerging in education, but the telecommunications industry might also provide some useful insights. Lee Dryburgh, organiser of the Emerging Communications Conference, has been interviewed… Read more »

If your Technical Publications department was a business

Sometimes it’s good for managers to look at a department in a slightly different way from normal. What, for example, if the Technical Publications department was a business? If a business troubleshooter were to come in and ask key commercial questions, could they be answered? Questions such as: Would it know how many customers it had?… Read more »

“Push me, Pull me” dilemma for technical authors

There are a number of posts on various Blogs, at the moment, concerning documents as conversation and moving beyond the traditional manual. Some of the comments suggest implicitly  that technical authors (aka technical writers) could end up having to resolve two conflicting views regarding communicating with users.  The problem is that many technical communicators work in hierarchical organisations where… Read more »

Feedback on our 1st Documentation Managers/Leaders mentoring meeting

We hosted the first of our peer-group mentoring meetings on Tuesday, and I pleased to say the event went as well as we could have expected. We’ve attended and hosted sessions for other entrepreneurs, but this was our first experience of running such an event for documentation managers.  The interactions and the nature of the outcomes… Read more »

Documentation and when things go wrong

The latest edition of the IET’s “Engineering & Technology” magazine looks at engineering disasters and, in doing so, provides food for thought regarding the role of documentation. “Hard lessons” looks at ten disasters, such as the Challenger Space Shuttle, and the reasons why these disasters can occur.  Looking at the disasters, I could see some common themes:… Read more »