Technical Documentation


Setting the Context

Good storytelling technique always sets the context of the story. Applying this technique to technical documentation provides the operator with information that puts their task into context.

If the operator is doing one step in a multi-step process it is desirable to give the operator an overview of the entire process and how their step fits in.

If people know what comes before their process and what comes after they can be alert to problems which may not affect their process but will impact on the overall outcome. You want employees that have enough knowledge of the overall process so they can alert management of problems early on when they are easier to correct.

It is also highly desirable to include a description of a quality outcome for the process. If the people performing the tasks know what the goals are, they are more likely to make better decisions and suggest better ways to do things. Keep in mind that your process operators are the experts on how to get things done in your organization. This is a valuable resource that you should not ignore.

Some processes must be done in a specific order and in a specific way. This calls for including an explanation of why strict adherence to the procedure is needed. The emphasis of this type of background information reduces the risk of process operators whos do not follow the procedure.

Technical Documentation