Key Words Technical Writers Need To Understand

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    I’ve come across certain words and terms that Technical Writers should be familiar with. The following are just a few outstanding key words that I felt were worth reviewing.

    Compliance – is adherence or sticking to rules, policies, and procedures. This is very important for the Technical Writers as they need to be excruciatingly correct and precise when writing involves compliances (guidelines, policies, procedures, agreements, etc.) to avoid events such as errors, accidents, organizational catastrophes, etc. Compliance covers requirements for format and content; regulatory compliance, information governance, environmental compliance, compliance costs, coding, designs, etc. just to mention a few. Technical Writers compliant documents present what is expected.

    Content (Document) Management– involves developing a content structure. It consists of creating, establishing, and distributing content and most importantly involves organizing content logically to make it easily accessible. It is also associated with knowledge management and information architecture which Technical Writers are involved in.

    Cloud (computing) –allows you to upload, share, download and archive documents. The cloud is an offsite (remote) server or data center that people share and which provides a software service. It securely manages your documents (information or data) on a machine. It could also be known as SAAS (Software as a service), PAAS (Platform as a Service), etc., but that’s another topic.

    Data (base, integration, set, value, management, metadata, mining, warehouse) – all involve the handling or management of data or information that is critical to a project or organization. How to manage ‘big data ‘is a growing concern for all organizations from small to large businesses as the volume of data keeps growing. Technical Writers help to interpret the information.

    Gamification – is applying a game. Technical Writers now need to write about game-based applications which grant rewards to users, i.e., points, badges, bonuses, etc. Gamification is now becoming more and more a part of leaning, social media, and organizations.

    Governance (of information, data) –is the controlling of or authority of information. It is a common term among businesses. Writing about the guidelines and policies needed to maintain the authority and regulation of information involve a great deal of work for Technical Writers who have to investigate and interview all the leads to create a structure that is understood and acceptable to the organization.

    Hierarchy, Taxonomy, Information Architecture – are terms used to describe how a collection of information is organized (hierarchy), classified (taxonomy), or structured (information architecture). A Taxonomy is a form of Hierarchy and together they help to present the framework of an organizations Information Architecture.

    Lifecycle – is the continuous work performed on applications, data, or products from the day they are developed to the day they are put into production or till they are no longer used. While working on a project, the Technical Writer is involved from the beginning starting from the presentation of an idea, to requirements gathering, to development, testing, and finally to the production phase.

    Stakeholders – are the people involved in a project, i.e., graphic designers, web developers, business analysts, software engineers, clients, etc. Marketing stakeholders include designers, reviewers, and users. Stakeholders have an investment or interest in the project.

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