This decision guide helps you assess whether you need a Technical Author.
You probably don’t need a Technical Author if:
- You product is effectively a commodity that is obvious to use.
- You don’t need to to provide written user instructions.
- Your team has the time and skills to write good end user documentation themselves.
- There’s a person in the team who knows what the whole product does.
- You don’t receive many support calls.
- You don’t need to provide post sales support.
- You have a limited budget.
You probably do need a Technical Author if:
You need to to provide written technical material, and:
- It’s not obvious what content your audience needs and wants.
- Your current content is poor:
- unclear, hard to find, out of date, inconsistent, contains mistakes, incomplete etc.
- You need to create clear information, simply and efficiently.
- You need to create many variations of the same document.
- Your team <doesn’t have the time or skills or resources to provide this content.
- You need to allocate resources more efficiently.
- Your developers struggle to understand what it’s like to be new user of the product.
- It takes too long for your team to create the documentation.
- No single person in the team knows what the whole product does.
- You need a Technical Author to act as a user advocate and provide an objective view of the product’s capabilities.
- Customers are complaining about poor after-sales support.
- Trial users are not converting into paying customers.
- You’re losing customers.
- You want more users to solve problems themselves.
- You need a more efficient authoring, reviewing and publishing process.
- You want to meet the legal requirements of selling consumer products, and you don’t have the skills or resources to provide this.
- You need to prove you comply with external standards (e.g. ISO standards).
- It’s a requirement of the contract with your supplier, and you don’t have the skills or resources to provide this.
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