As you start project planning, you may be thinking, “We’ll just hire a technical writer later if we find we need one. Abigail in marketing or Ryan in project management can tackle it for now.” Many businesses that take this route are trying to cut costs and hoping to get the work done with their current team.
However, that line of thought could prove to be costly, result in necessary rewrites, and make it more difficult to meet deadlines. Serious mistakes can lead to fines or other severe consequences for your company, something that is more likely if your writing team is inexperienced and unsure of what to include in the documentation.
Working with a technical writer from day one, though, and involving them in the planning stages of your project, can help ensure you’re keeping costs low, staying on target for your deadlines, and getting your documentation right the first time around.
So Why Should I Use a Technical Writer During the Planning Stage of My Project?
Check out the benefits below to see how having a technical writer onboard from day one will ensure your project’s success.
Your Business Will Clearly Understand What It Needs from the Start
Technical writers bring expertise and experience to the table. Each industry and project has different requirements when it comes to necessary documents, and missing the mark even slightly can set you back. This can result in rewrites, meaning you’ll have to push back your deadlines and add cost to your budget.
But an experienced technical writer will understand your industry inside and out and know exactly what is needed at every step of the way, from planning to data collection, and compliance to operation requirements. You’ll be able to tick all the boxes without stress, confident that you’ll have all the data and information you need from the very beginning, whether your documentation is being developed for internal work or to meet government regulation requirements.
You’ll Reduce the Chance of Regulatory Rejection
By knowing exactly what your organization needs from the start, you’ll reduce the chance of your documentation being rejected by government agencies or industry regulatory bodies. You don’t want your company to put in the legwork and then find out that you need to go back to square one because of writing errors or mistakes in data collection.
For example, if your project requires you to collect data on a new potential site, and you’re missing just one crucial piece of information, not realizing it was needed, it could result in a rejection of your proposal. You’ll have to go back to the beginning, resulting in missed deadlines and higher costs.
A technical writer can help ensure your organization is getting the right information, and the documentation you need, the first time around.
You’ll Identify Risks Earlier and Mitigate Issues from the Start
By hiring a technical writer for your upcoming project on day one, you might just dodge some serious problems down the line. As we’ve already noted, technical writers will understand your industry, because they’ve done this work before. They can identify risks before you even start writing documentation, protecting you from serious problems while also steering you in the right direction to save you time and money.
Avoiding these risks and issues can help you reduce costly fines or more serious consequences.
Your Document Content Will Be Consistent, Clear, and Impartial
Assigning one or even several different employees to write your project’s documentation could, on paper, seem to save you time and cost, but what will the results look like? If team members aren’t trained in technical writing, aren’t entirely sure what’s required of them, or aren’t collaborating effectively, you could end up with documents that contradict each other, aren’t written for the target audience, or have such different styles of writing that they are difficult for auser to follow. An inexperienced writer might include unnecessary information or be inappropriately complimentary of your company or product, thus failing to meet the necessary impartial tone required in manuals, government forms, procedures, and other documents.
Organizations taking this route initially often find that, when they do work with an experienced technical writer, some, or even all, of their documentation needs to be rewritten. This results in time wasted and added costs.
Hiring a technical writer (or a technical writing team) from the start, though, allows you to skip the confusion and extra expenses. Technical writers will ensure that all your documents are written clearly, are impartial, use the same language, and reference one another when necessary. Experienced technical writers also understand the importance of formatting, document layout, presentation, and user experience. As a result, all the work will be clear, concise, and professional.
You’ll Increase the Chances of Meeting Your Original Deadlines
All the benefits of hiring a technical writer that we’ve already covered help you increase your chances of meeting your original deadlines and reduce the chance of risks, rewrites, and rejection.
But it’s also worth noting that you won’t have to take your employees off their regular responsibilities to work on technical writing projects. Do your employees really have time to take from their work to understand complex ideas, conduct interviews, and write clear and concise documentation? A professional technical writer can devote all of their time to your work, and your employees can focus on their own job requirements that already benefit your business’s operations.
Technical writers, of course, understand the importance of deadlines. They can work with you to develop a content strategy and plan so that each piece of the project’s puzzle is delivered in a timely manner. Employees who are pulled off their regular work might be unable to meet these deadlines due to their inexperience with the subject matter and the added demands on their workday.
You’ll Stay on Budget
As mentioned previously, mistakes can add up if you don’t have a technical writer on staff during your project’s planning stages. Failing to present the correct information to the government the required format, for example, could result in your documentation being rejected. And it could also lead to other consequences, including fines, the loss of a site lease, or even the end of your business if the problems or mistakes in your documents are serious enough. A technical writer has the expertise to identify those problems before your documents are published or submitted to government agencies.
And since technical writers help you stay on target for your deadlines and reduce the need for rewrites, you won’t have to worry about additional costs for your project even after the deadline has passed.
Why Else Should You Hire a Technical Writer?
No matter where you are in the project, there are benefits to hiring a technical writer sooner rather than later. Some of these include:
Technical Writers Understand their Craft
Technical writers understand exactly what businesses, organizations, and corporations need from their documentation, whether it is to be submitted to the government or kept on site as a manual. They are skilled in:
- communication of complex ideas and information
- Understanding the importance of the target audience during writing
- Project management
- Impartial writing
- Conducting interviews
- Content development tools
- Content strategy
- Targeted language
- Formatting and presentation
They Can Scale with You
Even if you called on a current employee who is an inexperienced writer for your technical writing needs, can they complete your technical writing projects as your business grows? It’s unlikely they’ll have the time in their workday to tackle all the writing and research necessary.
Technical writing teams can scale with you. As your business succeeds and grows, you can continue to benefit from their services as your needs for further technical documentation and future project requirements grow with you.
Not only is it to your benefit to get a technical writer on your side during your project’s planning, but you will still want to consider the benefits even if you’re further along.Contracting a technical writer sooner rather than later will still help you cut costs and improve your company’s written presentation, and could even help you get back on track for your original deadlines.
Are you in the planning stages of a new project? Do you need help meeting government regulations, or developing manuals, work instructions, guidelines, or employee handbooks? Our team has the experience and expertise you’re looking for when it comes to technical writing. Our experts can help you navigate any risks or industry requirements while also delivering the writing that is essential to your operations and success. If you’re curious about what we have to offer, start by contacting us.