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Importance of Value in Technical Writing

by Ron Kurtus (18 May 2002)

In your role as a technical writer, it is important that your work is considered valuable to your supervisor, company and customer. You can't progress in your career if the work you do is not valuable to others. It is important to make sure that what you do is valuable and important to your customers.

Making sure management realizes your work contributes to company profits is a way to make yourself more valuable.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Valuable services

A product or service that is valuable to a company is one that is needed to provide a profit or reduce costs. An important service is one that is critical in the delivery of a product.

A company wants and needs documentation for various reasons. The service a technical writer provides can be valuable to the company and enhance its bottom line. In many cases, documentation can be important to the sales of the company's products.

Users or customers may find technical documents useful and important. This means that the writing is valuable to them. The work you do as a technical writer can also be valuable to your supervisor, who needs to satisfy requirements on schedule.

Being valuable is a natural progression from being healthy, knowledgeable, excellent and honorable.

Benefits from being valuable

By being a valuable and important technical writer to your employer, you can progress in your career. Employers will compensate a valuable writer, rather than lose him or her to the competition.

There is also the personal satisfaction of being important to the company or the outcome of a project.

Become valuable

In some cases, where a company or supervisor does not see the value of technical documentation, it is often necessary to evangelize on the importance and contribution that documentation is to the company's product. For example, some managers don't realize that a good user manual adds value to the product and reduces the cost of support.

Once documentation is considered important, you must show that you are a valuable member of the team. This means to make yourself difficult to replace, as well as directly contributing to the company's profits.

Sometimes a technical writer must do things outside the job description to increase his or her value to the company. In the long run, the extra work can prove beneficial to your career.

Summary

Doing work that contributes to the company's profits makes you valuable and important. Your wages and career can benefit from being considered a valuable member of the team. To increase your value, you must seek tasks that will help the company.


Documentation is important


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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