3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Entrust Your Technical Documentation to an Agency
The moment has come. You’ve finally made the decision: you need a Technical Writer.
They will have a lot of work to do: the product is quite mature, you have problems with customers who open a lot of support tickets because they don’t know how to use the product, overloading the support engineers with work, and you would also like to consider documenting the code of your product.
Never mind that someone leaves the company soon and whoever replaces them will have to spend a lot of time being trained by colleagues, who already don’t have time.
You have the right budget, but there is a problem: you don’t know who to turn to.
Then you remember that acquaintance of yours who “writes things” and works in a well-known agency.
You, then, decide to call the agency.
Once the work and the price have been set, we set off.
But, wait, as the days go by you start to see problems:
- The person who has to carry out the work is not autonomous, even if he or she is senior.
- None implemented a process to insert the figure, even if external, into a working framework that allows them to move around the product, asking the right questions to those who know him.
- The designated person does not have a clear scope of their work, so they’re inundated with requests, not knowing how to handle them.
- Despite the inclusion of this figure, there continues to be a high number of support tickets opened by customers because they don’t know how to use your product.
And the list could continue.
And you know what the point is? Simple: you are not working with a software-related technical documentation specialist!
So, here are 3 reasons why you should not entrust your documentation to an agency:
- If you rely on a marketing agency, the people included in the staff know how to work,… in marketing! Although writing blog posts is similar to a technical article for some aspects, for others “knowing how to write things” is not enough.
- There are some agencies that do technical documentation but, in general, they are oriented towards sectors other than IT. The typical case is that of those who develop user manuals for the aerospace sector. Well, even if in that case those who work in the agency have experience and technical ability, it is a completely different job from that of a Technical Writer in IT.
- As happens in all industries, staff turnover is, in general, very high. Starting from scratch, you will need to carry out a documentary project for several months: this could mean that the designated person, after a few weeks, will change job and you will be entrusted with another one, with the risk of having to start all over again.
What you need, starting from scratch, is a professional who:
- Is independent in testing the product, having specific technical knowledge and skills related to the IT world.
- Relies as little as possible on developers and other departments, working independently, involving them only when strictly necessary.
- Designs the documentation, making a long-term plan.
- Understands and establishes who the typical users of your product are, to create documentation specifically for them.
- Can choose, from a range of software for writing documentation, the one that best suits your case.
- Collects user feedback and modifies the documentation based on it. Essentially, you need a professional in the field: not just any person “who can write well”.
Do you need to implement a technical documentation project but don’t know how to start? Keep reading!
Hi, I’m Federico and I’m a freelance Technical Writer:
Do you want to collaborate with me? Contact me!