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Importance of Excellence in Technical Writing

by Ron Kurtus (revised 26 April 2005)

In your role as a technical writer, it is important that you do your best and produce excellent work. This will increase your confidence and esteem, as well as result in praise and other benefits.

Excellence requires satisfying the project requirements and going beyond what is expected.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Excellent work

Good technical writing is that which fulfills requirements, is delivered on time and is without errors or omissions. Excellent writing goes beyond what is required and exceeds expectations. It is synonymous with quality.

Excellence is in the eye of the beholder. If you have done your best, you may feel your work is excellent. But if that work is being delivered to someone else, that person may have different expectations and a different evaluation of whether or not the work was excellent. That is why it is important to know the requirements and expectations before proceeding on a writing project.

Benefits of being excellent

Benefits of doing excellent work can be an increase in confidence and self-esteem, as well as recognition and praise.

Confidence and esteem

It is a good feeling when you complete a difficult writing project. It can increase your confidence in being able to even more challenging tasks.

If you have done your best, gone the extra mile and produced what you feel is an excellent product or document, you can feel proud of yourself and your abilities. It is especially gratifying if you can look at a published, bound document.

Praise

If your supervisor or customer also feels your have done excellent work, you may receive praise or even special compensation for your work. Your supervisor, the customer and your peers will recognize you as a writer who does his or her best to produce a quality product. A writer with a reputation for doing excellent work will certainly advance in his or her career.

Criticism

It is also possible that your supervisor or customer had other expectations or that you did your best, but the requirements were beyond your skill-level. It is also possible that your supervisor is the type of person who does not acknowledge excellent work. In such a situation, you may receive no praise or acknowledgement. In fact, you may even be criticized for the "poor job" you did.

Be proud

If you feel you did an excellent job, you can still be proud of your work. But you must also evaluate whether you misinterpreted the requirements and expectations, there were unrealistic demands, or some personality issues.

Become excellent

The first thing in ensuring that you do excellent technical communication is to know the requirements for the documents you are to create. You must then work hard to complete the task on time and per the requirements, with no errors or omissions.

The attitude of excellence goes beyond simply satisfying customer requirements. It is delivering a product that is beyond expectations. You should put in the extra touch of quality.

For example, suppose the company wants a training guide written that will be sufficient for the trainer to use the material. They don't want to spend too much money on the task. If you wrote a document that was good enough, they would be satisfied. But if you put an extra effort to produce a guide that was considered well written within the writing budget, you would have a happy customer that would be grateful for the excellent job done.

Doing excellent work is a natural progression from being healthy and skilled. It leads to being valuable to your company.

Summary

Doing excellent work will increase your confidence and esteem. You may also get praise for your work and advance in your career. Excellence requires satisfying the project requirements and going beyond what is expected.


Walk tall and be proud of your work


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

Society for Technical Communication

Technical Writing Resources

Books

Top-rated books on Technical Writing


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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