Business of Technical Communications

Technical Communications is more than just documentation. TechWhirl's Business section will cover the trends, tactics and topics of the day for companies in tech comm and those who want to be here.

Statement of Work (SOW) Template

The Statement of Work (SOW) template provides the details necessary to ensure successful delivery of a project. Because it specifies timelines, deliverables, and responsibilities, it minimizes the risk of scope creep, helps ensure that all stakeholders understand how the project will proceed, and manages expectations between the client and the vendor delivering the services. Continue reading ...

Content Strategists: A Call to Action

When I attended the recent Virtual Conference by the STC, I was left thinking, “Geez, we Content Strategists keep talking to technical communicators and budding content strategists about making sure we deliver the right content to the right people on the device of their choice (and that’s great)—but are we talking to the right people?” Continue reading ...

TechWhirl’s Top 12 Technical Communication Articles of 2012

Another busy year comes to a close here at TechWhirl. The members of our Special Writers Group have a simple job description: write stories that matter to technical communicators, whether they read the discussion list or are otherwise occupied. The most popular TechWhirl technical communication articles of the year reveal a readership interested in both the big picture and the more practical. Continue reading ...

Superhero support

What Makes a Superhero? Doing what Others Can’t and/or Won’t

Corey Ganser shows that technical communication nirvana is actually possible, since his Mindtouch customers practice it every day. His lively session covered the ways customer support departments, technical writing teams, and product teams are coming together through a centralized documentation community. Real companies use the Mindtouch product to be superheros ... Continue reading ...

Five Ways to Make Executives Love Content Development

Alan J. Porter's LavaCon Conference 2012 presentation, "Five Ways to Make Executives Love Content Development", provided a set of tools for promoting the value and importance of various forms of content development, including technical communication and technical illustration. Technical communicators must understand what the actual purpose of their company is, which is not the same knowing as what the company produces or does. A company might make drill bits for mining equipment, for example, but its real purpose is to help miners mine minerals effectively. With this understanding, technical communicators can better focus their messages, and also understand the importance of content development to the company's real purpose. Continue reading ...

top 12 technical communication articles 7

The Paradox of Tech Comm

In a tech world obsessed with user experience, the role of technical communication seems paradoxical. Documentation is user-facing and users are dissatisfied. On the other hand, quality of documentation appears to have no impact on buying decisions. Why is there no evolutionary pressure in favor of great documentation? Continue reading ...

The Great Debate: It’s All Technical Communication

TechWhirl may be in one of the best positions ever to present both sides of this great, and long-standing debate. We've got lots of exposure to and experience in both technical communication and marketing. However, in the interests of fairness and objectivity, we decided that asking a thought leader to defend the statement "It's all Technical Communication" with the answers to five sort of simple questions about the critical role and value of Technical Communication in an organization. The president of the Society of Technical Communication (STC) seemed like a great candidate, and Alan Houser graciously accepted the challenge. Continue reading ...