Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Eliminating "END GAME"

With over 20 years in this industry, I have held numerous conversations about exactly what we technical communicators do for a living. In particular, one most memorable conversation was with a senior executive at an aerospace company where I led the Technical Publications department. I may be paraphrasing him, but during our discussion, his most unforgettable statement went something like this:

“I don’t understand what’s so difficult – anyone can write. All you have to do is create the content and then just publish it.”

Disregarding the condescending nature of this gentleman’s remark as well as his total misunderstanding about what my team actually did, the words that really stuck with me were:

“Just publish it!”

What exactly did that mean? It’s something I’ve thought a lot about ever since. Over the last 15 or so years, the industry has invested a lot of time, attention, and software development into a variety of initiatives, including:

· Authoring and managing content in more efficient ways

· Making content reusable

· Creating new delivery formats and media

But what about the process of taking that content and getting it ready for delivery to the end user? When you really start to think about it, the phrase “just publish it” covers a multitude of steps, as well as external pressures to tighten schedules and produce more with the same (or fewer) resources.

This is what one of Quadralay’s customers christened as “End Game,” a phrase we liked so much, we adopted it internally.

What is “END GAME”?

For the answer to that question - check out the full text of my article at TechCom Manager.