The need to create documentation is greater than ever. There’s text for the Web, sales and promotional material, product descriptions, manuals, reports, one-pagers—most organizations are pushing out a lot of text these days.
With all this production happening, you’d think the writing process was getting better, easier and more effective all the time. But is this the case?
How many times does your organization print a document that has errors in it? Were fingers pointed? How close to the deadline was that final push to include for basic information in a document? How many people were involved in the project and how many of them had to work overtime to get it done on time? Are they all still speaking to one another?
Oh, how quickly we forget the time and effort it takes to write and capture all the information needed to enlighten our readers!
Tight deadlines are the new reality, everyone says. Still, maybe it’s because we all believe in the power of the all-nighter we pulled back in college as the only reliable method. Or maybe we believe that documents do not require a lot of effort. The truth is, in most organizations, there’s a lot of the bottom line riding on effective and successful text.
The time has come to add leadership to the team’s writing process and stop letting unhelpful beliefs manage the process.
Who’s holding the pen?
Perhaps your organization has identified several people who can produce documents and shape text with skill. Do they have all the information and tools they need to do their job?
They usually don’t and this is normal; writers in organizations are the messengers. The information keepers are the subject matter experts (SMEs). By some mysterious process, SMEs and writers must meet and share notes. And other people may be contributing strategic and customer perspectives.
In organizations, writing is a collaborative venture that is not always well understood. If your team unlocks the secret, it can make a big difference to your success. Your customers will hear you loud and clear!
With a few small changes you can take your productions to a whole new level of success. It’s just a few paradigm shifts! Work with the writers and contributors to define a process that shares responsibility. When your organization understands and changes its attitude towards the tasks, it will set realistic deadlines and have a plan to meet them. Building a positive team dynamic will create a sense of energy and mission in line with the organization’s objectives.
To help shift your paradigms, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for individual and team consultant services.