Document Models That Increase Productivity and Improve Clarity


Client — One of the top ten largest software companies in the world, a leading provider of software and services to enable utility computing


Strategic Goals


To write clear design documents for their internal teams to use in developing software solutions more quickly and effectively

To write winning client proposals for both technical and non-technical decision makers


Communication Challenges


  • Formats and models existed for specific engineering teams in each department to use in creating their design documents and proposals—but none of the formats matched.
  • As products/services evolved, standardized document formats became outdated for their new purposes.
  • As department heads moved to new job positions, new managers assumed the positions, with different preferences.
  • Engineers re-assigned to different teams had to “relearn” the current manager’s formats and preferences.

Solution


Booher’s solution included:


  • Reviewing client documents from various divisions and departments
  • Conducting interviews with executives about the intended purpose of each document type
  • Incorporating input from various engineering teams into the standardized templates
  • Analyzing common purposes, information, and functionality of each document
  • Designing a standardized format for each document type
  • Tailoring Booher’s Technical Writing Workshop to the exact documents engineers routinely write
  • Conducting technical writing training
  • Gathering questions from engineers about unclear technical requirements and resources and then reporting those to executive management for decision

Results


Engineers have standard formats for technical reports, proposals, and design documents. These formats and their related training have helped them to

  • Write more clearly
  • identify appropriate content more quickly
  • reduce document length, thus saving reading time of their internal teams using the documents
  • produce winning proposals


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