The Challenges Technical Communicators Face


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The Challenges Technical Communicators Face will address many of the topics we face as technical communicators. Some of these topics will include: Distinguishing content from information Untimely or no inputs from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) or developers Communicating with management Getting the right people to review your work for content Prioritization: Is less importance given to documentation? Panelists are: Donn DeBoard, Senior Information Developer at Vertex, Inc. Todd DeLuca, Manager, Technical Communications at Black Knight Financial Services Timothy Esposito, Principal Technical Writer at Oracle Each panelist will give a short presentation followed by a group discussion open for questions and answers.


  • 1. TheChallengesTechnical Communicators Face Karen Flam, Moderator Panelists: Donn DeBoard,Vertex, Inc. Todd DeLuca, Black Knight Financial Services Tim Esposito,Oracle

2. Agenda Introduction of Panelists Presentations Questions & Answers Group discussion 3. Donn DeBoard We will first hear from Donn DeBoard Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 3 4. Challenges in technical communications Donn DeBoard STC-Philadelphia MetroChapter (PMC), February 19, 2014 PennsylvaniaState System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Center City Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 4 5. A technical communicator Simplifies complex, technical information for a customer. Clear, concise, content is easy for the customer to use. Your content enhances customer success with your product. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 5 6. You know youre a technical communicator when You have outdated or no product specifications. Your SMEs are often unavailable or hard-to-reach. You discover undocumentedGUI or function changes in the product . You develop and deliver draft content while the product is still being tested. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 6 7. Agenda Who are your customers? Why dont your customers read the documentation? Do you speak your SMEs language? Is your content portable? What about innovation? Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 7 8. Who are your customers? You are a customer advocate. You are not your customer. Engage customer-facing employees early and often. Connecting to your customers is a foundational and ongoing effort. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 8 9. Why dont your customers read the documentation? Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 9 Customers want to perform a task, not read your content. All content is not equal. What is the least your customer need to know for success? The right content in the right job context increases customer success. 10. Do you speak yourSMEs language? Learn your SMEs language (IT, accounting, technology, or business). Build high-trust relationships with your SMEs. SMEs can keep you aware of late product changes. Keep your SMEs focused on the customer. Show your SMEs how your efforts benefited the customer. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 10 11. Is your content portable? Content is an essential part of the product. Do you have a tool to create and deliver content in multiple formats? Do you have a strategy to manage your content? Are you aware of emerging avenues for content delivery? Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 11 12. What about innovation? Understand your customers needs. Who are you innovating for: yourself or your customer? Your idea should enhance your customers experience with your content. Create a proofof- concept for internal and selected customer review. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 12 13. Todd DeLuca We will next hear fromTodd DeLuca Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 13 14. Tim Esposito We will next hear fromTim Esposito Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 14 15. Challenges Globalization Communication Prioritization Zombie Apocalypse 16. Globalization 17. Communication Source: 18. Prioritization 19. Tools to ObtainVictory! 20. Questions Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! 21. Thanks for the conversation! Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 21 22. Lets connect. Contact us with additional questions and comments. (Karen Flam) (Donn Deboard) (Todd DeLuca) (Tim Esposito) Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 22