Tools that Work
Before making any recommendations about document types or management processes, we familiarize ourselves with your organization’s work environment. We work closely with you to determine how your documents should be set up to meet the needs of your people and achieve their intended purpose.
To maintain consistent and up-to-date documentation, you need tools such as:
- Templates with document control elements and features that make formatting and updating easier and more consistent
- Prototypes with sample or actual content that allow everyone to agree on the documentation look and feel, writing style, and level of detail
- Writing standards to answer common questions about preferred spelling and word use
We browse the hundreds of page formats in our repository of past projects to select elements that work best for your people and work environment. We also consider what we’ve seen work well or not so well in other documentation projects in developing customized tools and process recommendations that reflect your organization, and are flexible and adaptable enough to work for all of your document types, now and in future.
Disorganized, wordy documentation can take a long time to sort out and rewrite, so it’s important to get it right up front.
Transferring knowledge from the minds of technical experts to a written document is critical for business continuity and succession planning. But it can be difficult for experts to find time for this along with their regular responsibilities, and to express their knowledge in words that readers readily understand.
Technical experts often find it easier to talk about a subject than to write it down. Our job is to record their thoughts in an interview, or to walk through business processes with them, capturing photos or screen shots if appropriate.
We then organize it into a draft they can review and share with colleagues, until everyone is happy with the results. We know we’ve done our job well when the finished document accurately captures key concepts and practices in a form that’s appropriate for its audience and purpose.