Tracking Technical Writing Tasks When Working with Other Departments

Posted by
Julia in Technical Writing on 11/25/20204 min read

man and woman high fiving

Being a technical writer means getting writing tasks from other departments, not only your manager. It's not like you don't have enough on your plate already, but since you are really good at creating documentation, helping other teams out seems only natural. So, cross-team communication is an important part of this role. What's more interesting is that different teams will ask you to do different sorts of tasks. This you should be prepared for. For example, marketing will mostly assign strictly writing tasks to you. They won't require any feedback, just writing the text. Developers, as a rule, expect something different from you. When they ask to create technical documentation, they might expect a usability review and a list of bugs.

How do you deal with all these tasks and stay on top of your game? Well, there are ways! Keep reading to learn what they are.

Create a Content Request Submission Form or Checklist

To get something done right and timely, you will need certain information about the task. When a person comes to you with a content request, they have requirements, naturally. However, it is great to have your own checklist. You can send it out to be filled, you can just ask additional questions and fill it out yourself. Some ideas of things to be included into a content request form:

  • Title
  • General description
  • Goals
  • Target audience
  • Length
  • Format
  • Reference materials
  • Due date

This way, you will be able to make sure that you've got everything, all the details you need to start working on the assignment.

two women looking at monitor

Always Track Your Writing Tasks Progress

It is likely that whoever asks you to write something will have a document to keep track of the process. This might be enough for some, but I advise you to use a task tracking tool to control all kinds of content requests you get from other teams. This way, it is going to be so much easier not only to see progress for each task, but also to be able to quickly access the relevant information and comments. Also, you will get a nice birds-eye view of the work you need to finish with the due dates. This will help you plan things more effectively and produce great examples of technical communication.

Surely, this is the most convenient way to track this data. Your manager will see your workflow and engagement. This tool can also come in handy when your manager asks you about the scope of work you are doing for different teams - you can reference it easily. If you do not use a tool like that - you can create at least a table. But, of course, that is less convenient. Here's what I recommend including in this document:

  • Who and when asked you to create content
  • Reference links (e.g., a Jira ticket)
  • Status
  • Due date
  • Notes

Actually, using a table is not the best solution here. It may only be a temporary way out.

Use Convenient Tools

Let's assume you are successfully keeping track of all the content creation tasks and using a checklist to get necessary task details quickly. Great! Now, it is time to deliver the content. I recommend using technical writing software for any assignments, even when they are not connected with the global projects you are working on. This has multiple benefits, like:

  • Everything is stored in one place
  • You can use any popular format for the final output
  • You can use the review workflow and other team collaboration features
  • Technical writing software will be perfect for any type of writing with features like a robust text editor, version history, spell checking, etc.

Of course, using technical writing tools may be a bit too much when we talk about marketing texts one-page long. But no other substantial task can do without tools to create content. Documentation software helps to organize the process of content creation for different departments.

hands unity

Conclusion

Don't let tasks pile up and make a mess of your work hours! With the help of the advice above, you will be able to structure working with assignments you get from different departments. Make your workflow consistent with the help of special tools and services.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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