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Agile Technical Documentation Workflow with Hannah Gilberg, Director, User Documentation at Navis

Category: Podcast

Last updated on Nov 3, 2022

Hannah Gilberg, Director of User Documentation at Navis, joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninja Podcast to share her agile technical documentation workflow, how she coaches her technical writers and engineers for quality documentation and her tech stack for producing quality documentation. 

Key Facts

  • Hannah’s LinkedIn
  • Navis website
  • Hannah holds a Masters degree in English 
  • Navis’ headquarters is located in Oakland, California, USA
  • Navis is a provider of mission-critical software solutions that manage and optimize the flow of goods within and between facilities in the global supply chain

Key Takeaways

  • Navis’ documentation team consists of technical writers and product engineers who work together to develop an agile documentation workflow 
  • To create effective documents, Hannah uses various content management software such as Author-it, Jira, Coveo and also Webhelp
  • Hannah believes that the most crucial technological advancement at Navis has been the integration with Coveo, which delivers the most relevant results from a large pool of data. Coveo helps Navis customers find relevant information more quickly
  • Hannah believes in creating customer-centric documentation. She coaches her team of technical writers to empathise with the customers while creating a document 
  • Hannah encourages her technical writers and engineers to keep a beginner’s mindset while creating a document. It helps her teams to create the document from a user’s perspective 
  • Hannah’s primary focus is to help readers find the desired information from the document. She does this by; 
      • Indexing the content to produce optimal search results
      • Enabling search by categorizing information so that customers can filter search results by specific categories
      • Maintaining troubleshooting information that describes problems customer may encounter, along with possible solutions
      • Organizing information based on functional use as opposed to organizing content by application structure
      • Optimizing search by adding keywords 
      • Linking related topics
  • Hannah conducts customer satisfaction surveys and small group discussions to analyse document quality and customer experience 
  • Navis’s documentation is exclusive to its users and is not open to public 
  • Hannah engages her teams in different creative exercises to keep the team motivated and focused such as writing collaborative stories
  • Hannah has used Trailblazer writing guidelines as a model for how to write with a conversational tone
  • Hannah believes that being inquisitive and having analytic and diagnostic skills is very important in the documentation field
  • Hannah created a list of quality criteria that she uses to evaluate new content

Hannah’s biggest influence

Hannah’s biggest influence is Salesfore documentation. She’s learned a lot from their release documentation, including how to document release notes and API changes. They use Salesforce at Navis as a Customer Management System.

Key resource

What documentation related advice would Hannah give to her 20-year-old self?

“Technical Documentation is about finding solutions.” Encountering unanticipated problems and situations is completely normal. We are all dealing with new challenges all the time. In order to stand out from the crowd, one needs to have an inquisitive, focused and determined nature, to find reliable solutions. 

“Your ability to ask valuable questions increases your chances to create high-quality documentation.”

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Gowri Ramkumar

May 27, 2021

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