Technical Writer Not Cutting It?
You pick up the latest version of your newest technical document and you thought it was going to be picture perfect, but it’s pretty clear that something has to change. You’re fairly certain it’s not the material because other writers seem to have a way to make things clear and easy to follow, even if the subject is complex. It’s time to seriously evaluate your technical writer.
How do you know if you need to replace your technical writer?
They don’t grasp the capabilities of data.
If you discover that your writer is living in the 1980’s and doesn’t appreciate that each online purchase or each visit from one website to another is a data point, you might want to think about searching for someone who does. A technical writer should have a firm handle on the subject matter that he is trying to write about; you can’t teach what you don’t know.
They aren’t detail oriented.
They gloss over steps necessary for the project or they miss the key pieces of information for the reader. Instead of a step-by-step cake recipe, you end up with an unbaked blob, because they forgot to specify the cooking time. Your writer is only as good as their ability to convey all-important information.
They’re unorganized in their data.
You’re trying to follow along; really, you are… and then the next thing you know you’re making your cake icing in the middle of mixing up the batter. Walking a reader through the material needs to make orderly sense. You can’t find yourself skipping around and hope to have the best outcome. The writer should lead your reader through — from start to finish – to ensure that they alleviate confusion, not create it.
They have poor project management skills.
This cake takes 18 hours to rise because it’s a culinary feat and a delicacy; they only started six hours ago. Worse, they were supposed to have gathered all the information before they started, and they show up empty-handed. Project-management-focused experience makes a good technical writer. You need to be able to trust that the project will come in accurately and on time.
If all of this is adding up to a cake wreck in your technical writing team, it’s likely time to look for a new person to wear that apron. Contact us and we can help! Artemis Consultants has the right mix of experience and expertise to help you find the icing on your cake.