You know there are multiple areas of your business that require documentation. Understanding each unique area may take time but the process to document them is really simple.
Content has always been important, but with so many channels of presentation and distribution, how will your company prepare for what needs to be documented in 2020?
You need to convey what your products do and find the best ways for your users to navigate the products. In order to do that, you must have a user experience (UX) designer who understand you, your clients, and the product itself.
All trend reports for 2020 cite chatbots, voice assistants and artificial intelligence (AI) as the vital path to communicating with your clients and users. Having scripts written in human language conveying a conversational tone and a proper design flow will allow your company to provide superior service.
From the Project Charter to the Lessons Learned, project management documentation is important to every aspect of your company’s plan. With that, it’s very important that your professional writing delivers in every detail to complete the initiative quickly and within budget.
Explainer videos for products, services or business concepts are on the rise. According to HubSpot, 72% of customers would rather learn about a product through video. Even your Executive team would appreciate having company information presented in a video format, as opposed to text, per Wordstream. Video script writers who understand process, how to interview, what your clients need, and how best to explain concepts through video will be in demand in 2020.
A large amount of information used in training is being presented via video format; however, having a written script is vital to the final product. Professional writers will need to determine a learning objective, a sequencing plan (job task, chronological sequencing, etc.) and write any accompanying handouts or worksheets.
The entire world runs on software and someone needs to explain how it works. Technical writers are user advocates who speak the languages of software engineers as well as users and provide documentation to bridge these two worlds. As technology and platforms have become more complex, this has allowed Help files to be more individualized and user centered.
Have you had the conversation with your group about documentation? If not, you can always talk with someone who understands professional writing and how to help your team make the most of your products and services in the coming year.
Need help with your documentation in 2020?
It’s the holidays and, as always, we’re reviewing list after list to find the perfect, thoughtful gift that shows true appreciation, provides a bunch of laughs or just sparks imagination. Whether your writers publish content to tell a story, support your brand or prepare specific processes for your products, everyone likes to have special gifts during the holidays that show gratitude for their hard work.
Here’s a breakdown of what writers truly want for the holidays.
If the best writer in your office needs encouragement for the next 2 years, this day planner fits the bill. Either do or do not. No try.
For the tech savvy and environmentally conscious writer producing your notes. The perfect gift is a Rocket Book Gift Set which eliminates waste and allows you to upload your handwritten notes to the cloud. Writers will love that AI allows them to use smart titles for easy naming and searching once the notes are uploaded and saved.
Every writer has a favorite pen! This one will replace it! The Echo Smartpen takes quick notes, records what you’ve written and immediately plays back everything you written by touching the pen point to the notepad. The pen saves notes and audio recordings to your computer (notebook is included) so scribes won’t have to remember what that tiny note in the margin meant!
Writers always have schedules and imminent deadlines so having a reminder of when to work (write, edit) and when to play (drink) and when to repeat is always helpful. Mind the time.
Image from Amazon
Anyone who’s chosen the profession of writer – no matter blogger, technical, trainer or ghostwriter – knows a thing or two about the notorious lives of novelists. They may also know a thing or two about drinking! Whether the preference is for tequila or whisky, these glasses will not only entertain but will spark many a literary discussion.
Video scripts have gone to production, novel draft is complete, blog posts are set for the week, now is the time to celebrate no longer having writer’s block! If it hasn’t been a hard liquor day then a relaxing wine is in order, you can choose red or white to fit the occasion.
Combine your drinks with literary knowledge!
Just in case you don’t notice their cape, your resident writer has a mug to prove that they are super!
English Breakfast tea to wake you up and what writer doesn’t love to read a new literary quote each day?
A single serve is a good place to start then you can pop in another (now) recyclable K-cup pod and drink until you finish your user guide, policy doc or that brand story that’s going to make your career.
Avid Reader Writers
To help business writers stay focused and produce quality work in a timely manner.
Add more business to your creativity. Need to document a new product, devise a specific web user’s process or explain the whole procedure in an infographic…but you’re not sure how to get started. Help the writing in your life win the war of art!
Inspired by The Artists Way, this updates the process for a modern audience.
Bonus 1: Tribe of Mentors
Bonus: If you need a little incentivizing from a mentor, the tribe is ready to step in and help you through your writer’s block or deconstructing a difficult doc process
Let the world know who you are!
Some writers are classic and enjoy the scratch of pen on paper to awaken their Muse. No quill needed; this pen has a modern design. A vintage accessory reminds everyone that the most important part of writing is to be able to write.
Yes, the typewriter keyboard has a nostalgic feel but has been modernized with a programmable return bar and wireless connectivity. Type up the latest software requirements from here and show them that you’re both old-school and up to date!
With 3 notepads in one, this leather-bound journal encourages creativity with 2 blank and 1 lined pad and includes inspirational quotes from famous writers. For travel bloggers, designers, aspiring poets and all the writers in between.
Artistic imagination knows no bounds with exercises and ideas pulled from the creative writing classes of famous novelists. Channel Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut then get back to business as you write the Great American Ad Copy!
With this 12-year best seller, writers will have all the tools they need to make How-To guides, FAQ’s and User Documentation exciting and fun!
A deck of 26 cards can revitalize your writing whether you’re publishing a post about the latest marketing technique, A/B testing a Facebook ad or adding a flurry of hashtags to your product’s Instagram post, having a “What would Indy Do” scenario has to brighten you outlook on business writing with advice like “Don’t let expectation box your hero in.”
I recommend the card “Talking it out,” to get you through the next business meeting where you know all of it could have been handled through an email!
Enjoy the holidays and keep your writers happy. The year will end a joyful note and the new one will start with lots of creativity, innovation and laughs.
Did that just fill you with fear? Self-loathing? And the question, “What did *I* do wrong?”
Well, you’re not alone. I know that doesn’t make it better because you’re still the one who has to bear the brunt of hearing that what you want has been denied. Be it a job, project or new client.
Countless articles talk about embracing failure and still more post about becoming resilient. In today’s social media, gotta-have-a-win-so-I-can-post-it-on-Instagram world, we’re not exactly taught coping skills. We are taught that winning is everything, you hear about the times Thomas Edison failed only after you learn about the one time he was exceptionally successful.
So where does this leave those of us who may or may invent the next iPhone or discover cold fusion, especially when the answer to our greatest desires (or landing a new account) may still be “no?”
See it from the nay-sayer’s perspective. How many decisions has the “decision-maker” had to make since their alarm went off that morning? They may not know if they want your product or service at this time because they’ve had to decide on the department’s budget by 9am, when to schedule employee review meetings that week or even what their child would need for lunch that day. It’s not personal to you. It may be hard not to think of it as personal but having empathy may be a way to ease hearing “no.” So, consider where the “no” is coming from and think about your options. Would another day/time be better? Could you help with anything more immediate?
Change your thinking. In sales, either you have been rejected or you will be rejected. Address this by going into a sales call with a different mindset: “If I’m rejected, I will…use this to improve my product…or have a better response next time…or not take it so seriously.”
Ask better questions. Find out what the client wants by asking good questions. It sounds easy but it may be the hardest part of your business – knowing your client. Doing homework is crucial, it not only helps you feel more confident about your pitch and your offerings, but it makes the client feel – what they are – important. You were prepared and didn’t waste their time. If they know understand them, this makes it more likely that they will turn a “no” into a “yes.” Querying possible clients with follow up questions to get to their deep pain points may be your way to closing a sale.
Keep going and don’t look back. Think of “NO” as Next Opportunity and move on to the next one. Maybe this is not your client. Maybe you need to re-evaluate where you’re getting leads and where those leads are leading. It’s not a failure to hear “no” from a perspective client if you will both lose time and energy pursuing something that’s not mutually beneficial.
Understand that NO isn’t fatal. In the end, you will survive hearing that what you have or want or need is denied. Hearing “no” will reinforce your resilience. Think of it as weight lifting. Think of how good you’ll feel when you’ve strengthened that particular muscle and you have the ability to bounce back when you hear “next opportunity” next time.
I wanted to take a minute and update this podcast post!! I still really enjoy listening to these and I’ve learned so much about what’s new in the field of Project Management over the last few months. With that I wanted to update a few of the One to check out sections (see below). If you’ve taken my recommendations (and earned some PDUs besides!), then you may have heard these updated ones. If not, here’s your chance to get caught up and still learn a lot from the latest podcasts.
In finalizing goals for 2017, I wanted to learn more about the things that will allow me to create business relationships. Part of that is learning to speak the language of management, project management.
I wanted to share a list of informative podcasts that I have added to my weekly roster of listens…
These podcasts certainly know their audiences since most provide episode lists in a spreadsheet format (We all love spreadsheets!) and offer PMI test prep, books, and allow you to earn PDU’s.
People and Projects Podcast – Managing projects and managing people takes a special kind of expertise, and this podcast shares how to resolve conflict, persuade a team, and engage stakeholders. Subscribe to get new episodes which are available every week or so. One to check out (January): The Most Important Lesson You Learned Last Year.
>>One to check out (March): But What If Their Bingeing on Netflix about managing remote teams. Emily Luijbregts is being interviewed and she sounds like a phenomenal leader. She explains how she tries to make everyone on her team feel included in the project by having them post family photos, doing video conferencing, and sharing cake recipes on Slack. Great take away: Trust is a 2-way street. PMs will back you up but you must be honest with them. (I always enjoy the energy of these podcasts, no matter who is being interviewed!)
Manage This – The Project Management Podcast – This podcast includes sessions with catchy titles like “Thor, the Norse God of Project Management” and “Papergate.” The information in each episode ranges from general project management to specific methodologies like Six Sigma and Agile in a discussion/interview format. Velociteach, the host’s company, offers online courses and other Project Management resources. The podcast is a little over a year old and is available the first and third Tuesday of the month. One to check out (January) : Alpha Project Managers
>>One to check out (March): Are You Too Soft? explores the concept that not enough project managers (or team members) take the initiative and own a project. A great quote, “You almost always have the authority. The problem is that you don’t take it.” Great take away: Exceed your authority and see what happens.
PMPodcast – The host has produced over 300 episodes and shares up-to-date information for beginners and experts alike. This podcast often combines PM and Agile. One to check out (January): Get Unstuck in Your Project (and join Projectmanagement.com to be part of a PMI community!)
>>One to check out (March): Guest hosts from Scope of Success podcast and they speak with the founder of PMI Long Island chapter and discuss interviewing. Great take away: Make sure your PMP is up-to-date before you interview, know the difference between a risk and an issue, and what are the top 3 things you do after you start in a new company as a PM. (Fun podcast!)
So that leads us into the episodes specific to Agile.
Agile is the latest project management trend and here are two podcasts to keep you better informed and more able to pivot gracefully.
SPaM Cast – The Software Process and Measurement (SPaM) podcast explores process improvement in information technology for the last ten years. Hosts discuss the latest information on methodologies and business areas such as analysis, risk and usability. One to check out: Round Table, Quality, Agile and Security
Marketing Project Management
Marketing is a very important to companies – there are Chief Marketing Officers now! So here’s a good listen from Aptera Software.
>>Check out: Scrum Marketing where they discuss users stories from a PM perspective and talk about new PM software, ). Very interesting learning how traditional PM is working in a digital marketing arena.
Projects always need documentation – even in an Agile environment – so if you need help with your project, contact me! Check out my other blog posts and work.