Period: April 2006 through May 2020
Subject: Providing Technical Writers to Support Fortune 500 US Energy Company
Shea was contacted by the energy company to provide technical writers on an short-term contract basis to assist with their technical writing efforts. Our work was considered a critical need to support the quality of their publications, and the technical writers were well-received, resulting in a 14-year relationship. Several of our writers worked continually onsite for the client, and overflow work was completed by additional writers who lent support from the Shea office.
Shea’s first project with the energy company was in 2006 with their Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department. Shea steadily gained a reputation of working collaboratively with subject matter experts (SMEs) and multiple authors to produce accurate technical documentation.
By 2020, Shea technical writers had engaged with most of the company’s departments through services that included:
- Scribing for meetings to determine best practices.
- Capturing existing process workflows and revising them to improve efficiency and align with Lean principles.
- Editing documents to achieve proper formatting, consistency, and readability.
- Serving as document control experts who shaped the document landscape and advised functional groups on documentation needs.
- Maintaining consistent, open communication with the client company to report on progress, gather information, and facilitate comment resolution meetings.
- Providing training courses and lunch-and-learn opportunities for client employees, in addition to coaching SMEs on writing.
- Consolidating global performance standards into a concise set of guidelines to improve usability.
- Drafting plans for an enterprise information management team, framing tactical objectives, and aligning them with strategic goals for management.
- Analyzing the technical paper process used by personnel to streamline it and improve usability.
- Documenting IT solutions under tight deadlines, providing user testing and design feedback for developers.
- Developing job descriptions by coordinating review sessions with personnel to achieve employee buy-in and cohesion among cross-functional positions.
- Gathering piping and instrumentation diagrams and legacy documents to improve organization and consistency in standard operating procedures.
- Working with an Operational Excellence Council to identify key document types and creating templates for worldwide use.
- Developing a corporate Operations Management System manual.
- Creating a new Drilling and Completions standard and supplemental documentation with little source content.
- Reorganizing and rewriting a 300-page Coiled Tubing Guideline.
- Creating, formatting, and editing a highly confidential, strategic plan.
Shea became a preferred vendor and developed hundreds of standards, guidelines, procedures, and technical papers for the client. When company departments needed assistance with documents, they often requested a Shea technical writer by name. Even when the energy company underwent management changes and oil price fluctuations, Shea technical writers were deemed business-critical and remained in place.
Throughout the 14-year engagement with the energy company, Shea writers met challenging deadlines and significantly improved company processes related to writing and approving internal and external publications. Shea solidified a lasting client relationship by consistently providing the company with expert writers who contributed to setting and meeting company’s goals.