Business Value of Technical Documentation

Business Value of Technical Documentation

Technical Documentation began mostly as a compliance activity. As technology became more intricate, the need for explaining it to the customers became more and more essential. I often like to define Technical Documentation as "taking knowledge from those who have it, to those who need it."

The number of products and their complexity has increased dramatically in the last 20 years and Technical Documentation has gradually earned its place as a business asset. What matters now is to recognize its business value and strategize to utilize it fully.

Three-sided Approach

Business value of Technical Documentation can be expressed from three different perspectives:

  1. Internal documentation - for complete project / product information, quality and process guidelines, templates, standardization
  2. External documentation - for customer satisfaction, training, support, customer accessibility including localized content, selling opportunity, competitive differentiation
  3. Knowledgebase, Wikis, Forums, Social media - for presence, collaborative content, customer accessibility, training, support, promotion, market differentiation

A well-managed Technical Documentation activity ensures higher productivity, efficiency, and consistency.

Generating Maximum Value

To generate maximum business value, strategizing Technical Documentation is critical. Begin by asking a few questions:

  1. Who are my readers? Are they further segmented?
  2. What are the best channels to reach them?
  3. What are they looking for in Technical Documentation?
  4. What will ensure that they read the Documentation?
  5. How can I engage and delight them?
  6. How can I ensure their participation in creating Documentation?

Along with the initial answers, iterative approach helps fine-tune the strategy and further details. Keeping updated with the new developments in the field of Technical Documentation ensures that the content is innovatively presented.

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