Organizations produce different types of content—marketing, customer communication, and blogs, among other pieces. This content needs to be well-written to accomplish its goal, which is easy to do for any experienced writer. But what if your content is technical? And what if your technology is an invention that you’re describing for the first time? In this case, producing high-quality content is a high-stakes exercise that requires a systematic approach to ensure a high-quality outcome.
This post offers a quick guide on how to set up a system of review for a complex content, which teams to lean on, and what technology to use to support this effort.
At Unqork, we frequently create complex content. We teach our customers and partners how to create speedy, secure, enterprise-grade apps in record time using a “no-code” language.
Unqork is a platform for rapid app development for enterprises. To operate within the Unqork environment is to be able to superspeed your app development process. There's a bit of a learning curve involved, and our enablement function is dedicated to producing content that helps flatten and shorten that curve.
Our documentation covers integrations, APIs, workflows, and other specialized content that users use to build rapidly. We can't afford to produce documentation that contains errors or misses best practices or poorly explains concepts, so we established a robust system of content review. We also had to consider a sequence of reviews, personas, and technology to support the process.
Let's take a look at an example. If we need to create an article on API integration, we need to involve at least five teammates to ensure that the content is flawless. First, we pick an article request from JIRA. Someone at Unqork submits a ticket request; this is our way to crowdsource ideas for the content. The head of instructional design (ID) picks the task and decides if it fits the overall curriculum map. This is critical because to build a comprehensive body of knowledge we need to ensure that each piece of knowledge is created within a logical system and fits with other lessons we teach our users. If the content fits, the head of ID forwards it to the instructional design subject matter expert (SME) for technical scoping. Once the scoping is completed, a SME sends the outline to the head technical writer to add the task to the sprint and assign it to a writer. The writer picks up the job and creates an article.
Once complete, the article goes back to the SME for review, then back to the head writer for review, then back to head of ID for review. It may take several rounds of revisions before it is complete. Thus, at least three different teams and five different teammates review each piece of content before it sees the light of day. So, mistakes are rare!
To manage this complexity, we use MadCap Central’s cloud-based contribution and review editor. This technology allows all the reviewers and creators involved to work out of a single portal and exchange notifications once the review is complete. (Check out the process flow for the review cycle below.)For any type of content you produce, it is important to have the right type of review system in place as well as the right technology to support the process. The more technical and sophisticated the content, the more thorough should be the cycle of review and the more robust the technology you use to write it. For the most complex content, we recommend tying multiple teams together—technical writing, instructional design, and possibly another technical team (in our case, it is solutions) to contribute SMEs to the process. Then, we recommend leaning on robust technology to support such a huge collaborative (and creative) effort; in our case, it is MadCap Central. Then, voilà! You have yourself a super guide on how to create something entirely new.
About The Author
Olga Gomonova is the Head of Enablement function at Unqork. Prior to joining Unqork, she worked for several Fortune 500 companies with a focus on technology and financial services, including State Street Corporation, McKinsey & Co, and Microsoft Corporation.
Olga Gomonova graduated from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations and Finance and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. Olga loves politics and spends her free time keeping up with the current affairs.