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Nov 5, 2012 Ξ Leave a comment

The You-Know-Nothing SME

posted by Tenneti
The You-Know-Nothing SME

These technical experts consider technical writers as non-technical, ignorant people who focus only on grammar and formatting. They also believe that technical writers lack the acumen to understand and absorb the technical jargon. Some of these notions began at a point when the early product managers decided not to burden the developers with writing tasks and offload these tasks to writers who can focus on these. Hence, these experts consider technical writers as outsiders and believe that writers are a hurdle to their work.

How to deal with them?

To deal with this kind of experts and gather information from them:

  • Educate them about the importance of documentation. Explain them that a well-documented product sells well than a badly-documented product. You can also pinpoint the reduction in customer calls and queries if a product is well-documented.
  • Make them understand that documentation is a part of the package and technical writers are a part of the team. You can focus on the fact that a very good product needs to be packaged with good information.
  • Let them believe that you are adding value to the overall product by highlighting its features, and thus, bringing their work to the forefront.
  • Prove to them that you are in sound in your technical basics, even though it might take time for you to master the advanced aspects. Flaunt your language skills to make their job easier wherever possible.
  • Drive home these messages consistently and very soon, you will be able to notice a change in their attitude towards technical writers.

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