You aren’t alone. Documentation is critical to the task of presenting products to customers, but small companies can’t afford to have a full-time documentation expert on staff. Many small companies need a senior documentation development expert, but only during critical product development planning and execution.
All product companies need someone who can:
- Design a suite of documentation to support that particular product’s users
- Clearly articulate documentation design tradeoffs and costs
- Establish priorities for what documentation will be developed and when
- Establish and track the documentation development budget
- Determine the particular writing resources you need to
execute the plan and when you need them
- Hire capable and easy-to-work-with documentation staff (writers, editors, and illustrators)
- Select documentation development tools that match the objectives and needs of the organization and the documentation
Often, the VP of Marketing or the VP of Engineering is asked to take on these tasks. They know how to plan in their world for their tasks, but usually they can only make guesses about the right way to execute on documentation tasks.
Sometimes, a staff writer is asked to perform these activities. But many staff writers don’t know how to plan large projects, such as for full documentation suites, which need to mesh with product marketing plans, product development plans, and product development budgets. And often they are too junior to come up with estimates that have any basis in reality. Frequently, they just decide to do what they know how to do, regardless of whether or not that is what the product needs. And, often, they aren’t very good at determining the kinds of writers needed and they don’t know how to interview writers for the task at hand.
These are problems that a documentation manager knows how to solve. The problem for most small companies is that they can’t afford a full-time documentation executive. But they can afford to call Expert Support and “Rent a Doc Manager.” We have experienced documentation managers available for hours, days, weeks, or months—whatever is necessary to get the job done.
Our documentation managers:
- Can design and specify complete document sets
- Know writing and budgeting
- Can set or suggest priorities when the budget can’t support the entire doc wish list
- Can accurately determine the skill level necessary to write the documents and then find those resources for you
- Track progress, report back when there are issues, and suggest remedies for the problems
- Can do as much or as little as you need or your budget allows
Your documentation is critical to the success of your product. Don’t let it be anything less than a competitive advantage for you.
Want to know more? Give us a call: 650-941-9778 or email [email protected].