Our technical authoring methods – how we work

We follow structured methods in all our technical authoring projects to ensure high quality results.

technical authoring

Our approach to technical authoring uses structured methods. This means we follow set processes for every project. The reason for this is to ensure high quality work.

All our projects start with an estimate and a project plan. We follow strict standards. We also use templates to ensure consistency. We build in project reports, proof-reading and usability testing to make sure the quality of our work is good.

 

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Armada technical authoring - how we work

Estimating

For any technical authoring project, our starting point is giving our client an estimate. There are two elements in any of our estimates. Firstly the hours that it will take and secondly the hourly rate.

We have different methods of estimating for different types of project. Using spreadsheets we've developed over many years, we calculate the number of man hours that are needed to do the work.

By applying our hourly rate to our estimated hours, the cost of the project is calculated. Our clients always have an estimate of costs before the technical authoring work begins.

technical authors
technical authors

Project planning

Right at the start of a technical authoring project we produce a project plan. We've used various project planning tools over the years, but still prefer a spreadsheet and GANTT charts. This project plan is agreed with our client. The project plan also assigns 'roles' to the project. As well as the technical authors, Armada assign a Project Manager to run the project.

At weekly intervals the project plan is updated. We monitor whether we are running to plan. It becomes apparent very quickly if we are falling behind. Each week our client receives an updated version of the plan so they can see how the work is progressing.

Documentation standards

All our technical authoring projects have written standards. The reason for this is that they provide a reference point. If other technical authors work on the project, they can consult the standards. They give consistency of content. They give consistency of appearance.

A copy of the written standards is always given to our client at the end of every project.

technical authors
technical authoring

Proto-typing

Our technical authoring projects begin with a proto-type. It gives all interested parties a view of how the output will look.

The proto-type also let's everyone see the content structure.

Proof-reading

All our work is proof-read twice before it is released. The first proof-read is carried out by a technical author not connected with the project. The second proof-read is carried out by the Project Manager at Armada.

Proof-reading improves consistency and quality of the work we deliver. It is essential to the delivery of quality technical authoring projects.

technical authoring
technical authors

Project reporting

For all out technical authoring projects, each week Armada's Project Manager updates the project plan with time worked. This gives a snap-shot of how the project is progressing. We update GANTT charts for our client and provide a report highlighting what has been completed and what issues are arising.

Clients and testimonials

technical authors

Our Services

Our services include creating online help, user guides and knowledge systems.

Online help

Our technical writers create online help that can be hosted on a webserver, an intranet, or run locally. The help systems can be made responsive, so they can be viewed on tablets and mobiles as well as PCs. All online help is branded to reflect your company's style..

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User guides

We create a variety of user guides. From brief quick start guides to detailed reference guides, we cover all bases. Our style is based on Plain English and is task based. Research shows users still want .PDF user guides to download. It’s all about saving support costs.

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Knowledge systems

Information is critical. Give your staff access to the information they need through a knowledge system. These can be accessed anywhere, on any type of device. Whether it’s looking-up HR policy or technical data, we give your staff knowledge at their finger tips.

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View samples of our user guides