Posted on 4 Comments

Are technical documents a waste of time?

“Don’t worry” she said. “No one reads this stuff anyway. Just get it done.” Sounds familiar?

These were the words a former Project Manager once told me. I’d written 20,000 words for a banking system – and no-one would read it.

What do you do when your own company has such a poor view of tech docs?

Are you wasting your time?

Does anyone actually read them?

Sure, they must.

Well, how do you know?

4 thoughts on “Are technical documents a waste of time?

  1. Having heard the same many years ago, the speaker has that opinion but others find enormous benefit in documentation. And believers out number non believers dramatically or our profession would disappear especially in this business climate. We have taken a hit in this economy but have bounced back (personally) and with gusto. I'm SO glad to have put doubters far behind me and am basking in a new environment where not only are tech writers appreciated but managers go well out of there way to express their appreciation.

    I think this attitude boils down to management not utilizing their people properly. Someone saw a need or you wouldn't have been hired. If your talent was applied to filling that need effectively, he/she wouldn't have said that.

  2. I agree. I think in difficult times like these people have to step up a little and demonstrate where they add value.

    Sometimes this can be painful as you have to fight your corner, so to speak.

    But, if you know where you add value, and can back it up, then you're home and dry.

    When confronted by these people, e.g. marketers, I turn the tables.

    “So, how can you prove your ad campaigns really work?”

    You’d be amazed how quickly people back down.

    Regards,

    Ivan

  3. Having heard the same many years ago, the speaker is obviously not on board but others who find enormous benefit in documentation. And enough believers are in charge or our profession would disappear especially in this business climate. We have taken a hit in this economy but have bounced back (personally) and with gusto. I'm SO glad to have put doubters far behind me and am basking in a new environment where not only are tech writers appreciated but managers go well out of there way to express their appreciation.

    I think this attitude boils down to management not utilizing their people properly. Someone saw a need or you wouldn't have been hired. If your talent was applied to filling that need effectively, she wouldn't have said that.

  4. I agree. I think in difficult times like these people have to step up a little and demonstrate where they add value.

    Sometimes this can be painful as you have to fight your corner, so to speak.

    But, if you know where you add value, and can back it up, then you're home and dry.

    When confronted by these people, e.g. marketers, I turn the tables.

    “So, how can you prove your ad campaigns really work?”

    You’d be amazed how quickly people back down.

    Regards,

    Ivan

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