Not long ago, a friend who works as a technical writer told me that his boss said the company doesn’t really care what efforts are required to create product documentation.
After all, technical writers are paid for what they are doing. Why should a company invest in new technologies if everything works (or seems to work) fine so far? Essentially, what the boss was saying was that the company felt the current system worked, even if it was problematic, and the company wasn’t interested in changing. wd my cloud If it was hard for technical writers to update the documentation, the boss didn’t really care, so long as the technical writers at the company met the deadlines. How many hours the company wasted or how much overtime was required wasn’t the issue, as far as the boss was concerned.
The bottom line seemed to always be simply the delivery date, as set by management and the development department. In terms of cost, the company calculated how much it would lose if they missed a deadline; not how much time and effort was required to meet the deadline.
Especially now, with the economy suffering and companies examining not only deadlines but costs, the big question is finally turning to how much money it costs a company to meet deadlines and if this cost includes unnecessary items. There are 5 reasons why a decision maker may begin thinking about DITA.
- DITA reduces the costs of creating and maintaining documentation
- With DITA, preparing deliverables takes considerably less time
- Translation costs can be reduced dramatically
- DITA enforces writers to focus on writing content rather than on formatting issues
- DITA helps companies get happy customers and reduce the load on technical support
I’ll be explaining each of the above in the following posts.