In an increasingly rapid and ever-evolving business environment, tech writers are an immensely valuable resource. They know how to explain products, processes, and services in clear and precise language, allowing them to reach multiple target audiences. By translating complicated ideas into easily readable material, their work ultimately helps businesses cut costs, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.
How do tech writers communicate complex technical information in simple terms? The answer is leveraging a wide range of knowledge, skills, and expertise to develop streamlined writing and research processes. Once a tech writer dives into a topic, it’s only a matter of time until they know how to explain it clearly.
What Do Tech Writers Do For Businesses?
As businesses grow, it is essential to integrate process document into your work flow. A process document acts as a roadmap for your business. Whether you create new strategies or want to improve existing processes, process documentation is a best practice guide for building and executing them.
All the information about how your company runs is critical for daily operations and future growth. Tech writers cannot emphasize the importance of documenting business processes enough. Optimizing business processes will help you avoid mistakes and delays and improve cost-effectiveness, productivity, supplier relationships, and customer satisfaction. Just imagine trying to juggle all of that on your own without any way of organizing or mapping it out. It is basically impossible!
Why Businesses Need Tech Writers
Every business needs technical writers to ensure that all essential data is recorded, stored, and available for future use. From company-wide user manuals to specific product documentation, tech writers provide that their organization can access every necessary bit of information at any time.
Successful businesses hire professional technical writers in competitive industries to do this job. An enticing shortcut is to enlist developers, engineers, and managers to do technical writing. But those are roles where success is defined by building a great product, not explaining or describing how it works to streamline the process.
Technical writers don’t need to be on a product team to understand how the product works on a deep technical level, although it does not hurt to let them have that inside view. In fact, sometimes they can best understand how various types of users will eventually interact with the product because they are on the outside. That’s their basis for creating expert documentation.
Why Technical Writers Are Fast Learners
Professional technical writers are also perfect for documentation because they start projects with a broad knowledge base. They are usually educated in a STEM field, whether it be science, technology, engineering, math, or a combination of any. Depending on their experience, tech writers will also understand medicine, computer science, and other tech-based fields.
What makes tech writers unique is that they are both generalists and specialists. They are not usually subject matter experts (SMEs) but fast and flexible researchers who enjoy exploring any topic’s highly specialized technical aspects. The are writers after all. They would not want to be doing this for a living if they were not very comfortable with the idea of diving into unknown territory.
Many topics that tech writers need to understand are highly complex. One project might be about pharmaceutical instructions for a new drug, which requires them to know FDA regulations. Another could involve ISO certification documentation for internationally shipped goods. There is no limit to a tech writer’s domain.
Whatever situation a tech writer finds themself in, they’ll focus on learning relevant material quickly. They’ll consider which information to include and omit throughout their research process. When your job is to simplify instructions and develop clear guidelines for multiple audiences, you must be selective about how you spend your time.
Tech Writers Are Actually Great Collaborators
When a tech writer begins a project, they meet with all the company’s teams and relevant departments. By listening to SMEs and asking pointed questions, they collect all the information they need to understand their task. While tech writers are typically considered siloed workers, they are in fact, strong collaborators and team players.
It’s easy for tech writers to join these conversations when they’ve been keeping up with industry trends. Great tech writers are also incredible readers and researchers. They keep up with the news, scan all the trade blogs, and listen to famous and niche podcasts. Tech writers should have their pulse on the latest reports, statistics, and ideas discussed in leading business and technology publications.
When tech writers join a new organization, they know all the industry developments and how to speak the language. Tech writers tend to enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with SMEs and other organization experts. Already familiar with the subject, they focus on learning the technical details they’ll need to produce expert documentation for an organization or business.
How Tech Writers Excel at Information Management
Unsurprisingly, working cross-functionally allows tech writers to become adept at developing highly efficient techniques for their work process. An example of one of these techniques is “single sourcing”. This is where the writer reuses sources on documentation projects. Experienced tech writers keep databases of collected information that help them in the research stage.
Tech writers spend roughly 80% of their time researching, whether that involves reading or interviewing. But all along, they take notes about the specific needs of their audience so that when they are ready to write their document, they have an understanding of what kind of audience the organization is trying to reach and a variety of options on how to attract the appropriate attention.
For instance, a skilled tech writer can take the same technical information about an API and break it into three documents: one for end-users, one for tech professionals, and one for business leaders. This is a complicated task because “clear and simple” language means different things to different groups. But tech writers are experts at accumulated knowledge, so they are efficient workers.
Why Technical Information Needs to be Simplified
The global economy has produced an astronomical amount of digital information, showing no signs of slowing down. By 2025, the worldwide volume of data is predicted to be 181 zettabytes. That’s tons of information that someone needs to document.
The tech industry is primarily responsible for this massive trail of digital records. Over the decades, technology has disrupted supply chains and radically altered industries from aerospace to finance, energy, and IT. As technology has rewritten the rules of business, technical writers’ roles and responsibilities have also changed.
It’s no longer good enough for a tech writer to know a few standard formats for instructional manuals. Instead, they must be able to document complex processes for highly specialized and varied audiences. This might involve writing reports, briefs, user guides, and SOPs.
These projects demand expertise and a quick turnaround, sometimes within an hour. If a business has a tech writer in-house or employs one as a consultant, they can call on that writer to do the job. These tasks add up, and shrewd companies will use them to leverage to increase profit margins.
Tech Writer Case Study: Standard Operating Procedures
Hiring a tech writer saves companies valuable time, reduces costs, and frees availability for critical design team members to do more tasks like product development.
For example, this case study details a project in which Essential Data’s technical writers developed detailed Standard Operating Procedures for seven unique manufacturing machines at an aerospace manufacturing company.
The SOPs were developed into a training manual for new hires and allowed the company’s clients to cross-train existing employees who worked on both new and different machines.
This was a groundbreaking level of documentation with real business results. The manufacturing company trained their new hires 50% more quickly, reducing the training period to three months.
Tech Writers Produce Real Business Results
The more experienced and diverse the tech writer, the better they can serve their organization. Streamlining business operations, increasing efficiency, and contributing to the bottom line are all important tasks that tech writers can take on for your company. It all stems from their communicative ability to translate technical industry jargon into readable material.
In business, it’s often best to let specialists perform the tasks at which they excel. Tech writers should do the technical writing, just as software engineers should design the products. Computer programmers should then build the products, and product managers should keep everything moving along.
If there is clarity around this process, then the result will be a customer, client, or fellow employee who knows how to use and work with their tools. Rest assured that your essential data is not just documented but clear, accurate, and useful.
How Essential Data Corporation Can Help You
Whether you need a single software technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org