You need documentation and are thinking about working with a technical writing team. But how will that fit into your budget? While each project is different, there are common variables that affect that calculation.
We ask the following questions as part of our quote development process and then work with you to provide a quality product within your budget.
What are we starting with?
While we can start from scratch and create content ourselves, most of our projects begin with content provided by the client. This could mean we compile information from different sources, such as notes and emails, or that we work from a draft you provide. We could also update a previously published document.
What will our collaboration look like?
Many people are involved in a technical writing project. Our work often depends on the availability of your team members and how much time they plan to spend with a document. We consider the amount of time required for content review and collaboration in a project time and materials estimate.
Please keep in mind that, while our writers and editors are experienced, we are not subject matter experts. Complex content may require more involvement from your SMEs to make sure we’re as accurate as possible.
How many drafts will we be producing?
Most of our projects go through two draft cycles, but we can do fewer or more depending on your needs. The standard draft process looks something like this:
Draft 1 – Shea gathers content, interviews SMEs, creates process flows and writes all needed documentation. Comment resolution meetings are conducted, and Draft 1 is submitted for client review.
Draft 2 – Shea revises process flows and procedures based on feedback, compiles all documentation, and submits Draft 2 for review.
Issue for Publication – Shea revises content based on feedback and returns the finished document to the client.
At what level are we editing?
While our team will always have an eye for excellence, we can edit to different standards based on how much you would like the document to change.
We work with your audience in mind. The editing process differs based on your authors and your readers. Do they have the same skill set and knowledge base? Many of our projects require us to mediate between the expert, who has a detailed knowledge of your processes, and the user, who is familiar with only the basics. We can bridge the gap and scale the reading level accordingly.
In addition to proofreading and correcting basic grammar and mechanics, our editors can:
- Edit for consistency within a document or across documents
- Provide comments and questions about clarity or suggest user-friendly terms
- Codify the document’s voice, especially if there are multiple authors
- Provide translation suggestions to non-native English speakers
Will the documents include graphics?
We can engage with graphics in your document in various capacities, from inserting images you provide, to creating and editing them ourselves.
The cost will vary based on who provides and edits the graphics. Shea has working relationships with graphic designers and photographers to provide quality graphics for your documents. We can also use logos or images that are standard to your company.
How will it be published?
When it comes time for the publication, we can be involved to differing extents. Our pricing considerations for this step include the estimated page count, the layout of the document, and the delivery format, either online or hard copy.
How will the work be paced?
We know the project’s deadline is at the forefront of your concerns. We want to ensure that everyone involved can do their best work while also being mindful of time. The pace at which your team plans to work is a considerable factor for us. While we prefer that pace to be consistent and steady, we understand that it could be intermittent, or even rushed.
If that is the case, we can work with you to develop a workable schedule and agreed turnaround times for each phase of the project as part of the proposal.