Some business managers fail to recognize the impact on profitability of good software user documentation and other support literature, or the lack thereof. You might hear them say —as I have— “It’s not really a priority at the moment” or “We may consider it later” or even "It cost too much, we'll have to do without it".
And yet, with your eyes and ears open, you will learn that:
- Support costs escalate, especially with complex solutions, because of inadequate procedural documentation or training.
- Many high-tech software products fail in the marketplace because users don’t receive the information they need to use them effectively.
- Many investments in costly new business systems fail to achieve results because structured training and user assistance materials are not part of the plan.
Good documentation and training may not be rocket science, but few companies can succeed for long without them. Whether it’s a set of user guides to be packaged with a product, or an in-house training program in company procedures when using the software, there are proven cost advantages in choosing a professional to design and build the deliverables.
Professional technical authors and writers can design and deliver effective, targeted user materials because they know what it takes to...
- Analyze and assess the audiences’ needs and capabilities.
- Design the appropriate words and images, and employ the appropriate media for delivering them.
- Test and measure the effectiveness of the information transfer and modify the deliverables as needed.
It is really something when "there is always enough time and money to do things over" but "never enough to do it right the first time."