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Business Value Of Tech Documentation with Sarah O’Keefe of Scriptorium Publishing

Category: Podcast

Last updated on Sep 1, 2022

Sarah O’Keefe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Scriptorium Publishing joined us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninja and shared her experience on adding efficiency to content delivery. Check out all the other episodes of Knowledgebase Ninjas.

Connect with Sarah and Scriptorium Publishing here:

Key Takeaways:

Sarah’s journey through self employment

Sarah established her company Scriptorium Publishing about 23 years back due to her fascination with content, technology, and publishing, after gaining experience in multiple fields such as marketing, production, technical writing and editing. 

Sarah’s “best-in-class” documentation process

Sarah explains how the documentation process varies from one company to another. She further explains that the process starts with the question: how can we provides maximum value for the business?

She states the 3 key fundamentals that she refers to as (WWH) of the procedure:

  1. Who is the company?

  2. What are their goals?

  3. How do they develop a content life cycle for their audience and support their goals?

While some organizations are seeking velocity or want their document to support brand identity, compliance is one of the top priorities of Sarah’s firm.

The business value of technical content

Extending support to people to use a particular product; is something great technical content should result in. Sarah presses upon the fact that it is through good documentation that people will use your product successfully, which ultimately results in value creation.

Another vital aspect of good document is that it should have value for the customer, which is achieved when people are happy with the product/document, they feel safe and understand the concept and they can get their job done easily. 

Sarah explains how providing the right content to the right people at the right time can reduce refunds by 20%. These refunds would occur not because of product defects but simply because consumers cannot figure out how to use it. That is “a huge value point”, says Sarah.

Also Read: How to measure the value of documentation?

Significance of marketing and tech-com collaboration

Sarah suggests that marketing and tech-com should not contradict each other’s statements and they should serve together. She clarifies that it’s a vicious circle and coordination is the key.

The problem arises when people look into product specifications before buying and there is no correspondence between tech-com and marketing. For instance, 80% of people who are looking to buy consumer electronics, are researching technical content. 

Similarly, when they buy the product, marketing comes into play because it brings up opportunities such as a sister or complimentary product, an update, or add ons or a new product in all. Hence they need to go hand in hand. As she says it’s not “I’m for sales” and “I’m for post-sales”. That is an incorrect way to provide content.

How Sarah works with clients

When asked about reduction and workload, from the introductory stage of content strategy for clients, Sarah shares that they try to identify the uninteresting parts of the process and minimize the “busy” work that is time-consuming/wasting. 

While they look for opportunities to automate monotonous work, copy and paste on one end, there is a rise in the load on the other side of the table which demands focus on high-value contributions, such as critical thinking. 

Producing and organizing better content, linking it, cross-connecting it, and adding maximum support material for the customers. These things always remain the focus for Sarah throughout the activity cycle and documentation production. 

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Gowri Ramkumar

Jul 15, 2020

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