Lessons learned from working as a computer book industry technical reviewer

mari-helin-tuominen-38313

I was a computer book technical reviewer earlier in my career. It was a freelance gig, but I still consider the work one of the more formative chapters in my professional writing career even though it wasn’t writing work.

Computer book technical reviewers sometimes called technical editors are responsible for ensuring the technical accuracy of information technology book manuscripts. The work taught me to pay attention to technical details, which in turn went on to influence my work as a technical writer and freelance writer.

The lessons I learned include:

Continue reading Lessons learned from working as a computer book industry technical reviewer

Moving your team from email inboxes to online collaboration

khurt-williams-9387

There is a dizzying array of online collaboration applications available today.
Even in 2017, you still have to write your own migration plan to move your team from email inboxes to an online collaboration platform.
A proper collaboration platform migration is agnostic — these tips can apply to most any cloud or on-premise collaboration

Continue reading Moving your team from email inboxes to online collaboration

My experience going from remote work to an open office

jan-henckens-311341
Last year after spending four years working from home, I took a corporate job working in an open office. I read much about the transition being hard, because I went from the upmost privacy to being able to see and hear the people working around me.

Continue reading My experience going from remote work to an open office

5 lessons learned from my summer vacation

pedro-lastra-124720
One of the benefits of pivoting back to full-time employment is taking time off. I recently spent an entire week at the beach. It was the first time I took that sort of time off on my own accord. My destination was Ocean City, MD, the mandatory vacation of my childhood.
Here are some lessons I learned after my vacation last month:

Continue reading 5 lessons learned from my summer vacation

The gentle art of project documentation control

gaelle-marcel-8992
Managing project documents can be an underappreciated art in some organizations. It’s an area where a technical writer should take charge. I’ve seen document control of all stripes throughout my career. Document control that works. Document control that didn’t work. Even document control that caused a near staff rebellion. I’ve even seen no formal document control practices.
While compliance programs like COSO and Sarbanes Oxley require document control over project documents, it also makes good business sense.
Here are some tips for implementing document control within your project team or organization:

Continue reading The gentle art of project documentation control

4 reasons why your document reviews aren’t working

kelly-brito-256889
I’ve long been a student of technical document reviews. So much so, I worked as a technical reviewer for some computer book publishers to learn more about this critical element of the technical communications. Back then I thought I could do a better job than the reviewers where I was working at the time). Editorial and technical reviews are integral parts of the technical publications process. Unfortunately, so many organizations fumble through the review cycle.

Continue reading 4 reasons why your document reviews aren’t working

5 ways teams can recover from a failed or stalled writing project

fab-lentz-253417

It’s never fun watching a technical documentation, training development, or other writing projects get off to a false start or just downright fail. It can be a real morale blow and expose the writer(s) and their team to criticism from stakeholders. However, failures do happen, and it is best to do what you can to recover from quickly.

Writing projects can fail or stall for a myriad of reasons including poor planning, course changes in the project plan, and other risks that may or not be accounted for in the overall project plan.

Here are five ways to get past a failed or stalled writing project:

Continue reading 5 ways teams can recover from a failed or stalled writing project