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Technical Writing Outsourcing in an Agile Environment

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Are you involved with, or considering, agile development? Are you interested in technical writing outsourcing? Learn from our experts how to effectively combine these approaches.

Presented by:
Barry Saiff - Founder and CEO, Saiff Solutions, Inc.
Fred Williams - Founder and CEO, Williams Technical
Gaile Milanbilen - Technical Writer, Saiff Solutions, Inc.

Published in: Technology
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Technical Writing Outsourcing in an Agile Environment

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. AGENDA ➢Introducing our experts ➢Your experience: Agile? Technical Writing Outsourcing (TWO)? ➢TWO: Myths, Successes, Success factors, Risks ➢Where do technical writers fit in an Agile environment? ➢Case study discussion: Coordination ➢Your questions and comments ➢LavaCon Las Vegas 2016 discount: 70% off
  3. 3. Barry Saiff 3 Technical communications leader 32 years of technical documentation experience Led writing teams at 6 US companies Founded Saiff Solutions, Inc. in 2011 Provides content development to Fortune 500 companies in Japan & US
  4. 4. FRED WILLIAMS 4 Founder of Williams Technical Offers Agile communication, training, and consulting Creator of the free online Technical Writing Course at Wikiversity (Google top 10) Featured speaker: • Global Scrum Gathering, 2016 • Agile Europe, 2016
  5. 5. Gaile Milanbilen 5 Employed by Saiff Solutions for almost 3 years Currently working as a Technical Writer in an Agile environment, for a US-based client Completed technical writing projects for multiple multinational clients, using various tools and content management systems
  6. 6. DISCUSSION: What is Your Experience with Agile and Technical Writing Outsourcing? Have you experienced (Y = Yes, N = No, N/A = Not applicable): 1. Working in an Agile development environment? 2. Working with writers in another country? 3. Being involved in a decision to outsource? 4. A well-crafted outsourcing plan? 5. A poorly-implemented outsourcing plan? 6. Outsourced technical writing in an Agile environment? 7. Technical writing one sprint behind development? 8. Technical writing on the same sprint as development? 9. What else?? 6
  7. 7. OUTSOURCINGMYTHS Which do you believe about TWO? • TWO results in low quality • TWO always leads to layoffs • Whether or not TWO happens is up to me • All TWO situations ____________ (= for example, All corporations are bad) 7
  8. 8. OUTSOURCING SuccessesWhat happens when TWO works well? • Effective global collaboration • Learning • Process Improvement • Improved quality • Improved morale • Reduced costs • Increased global responsiveness • Productivity improvements 8
  9. 9. Carefully choose country: - Consider language, infrastructure, labor pool. - #1 country in business English: Philippines (http://www.globalenglish.com/business_english_index) TWO: KEY SUCCESS FACTORS Carefully choose provider. Consider process maturity first. Start with a low-risk pilot project. 9
  10. 10. TWO IMPLEMENTATION: When outsourcing goes wrong, it can be due to any of the following issues: RISKS Location Function INCLUSI ON Languag e 10 EXPERIE NCE LEVEL Culture Competenc y Management
  11. 11. • IF work > # writers, perhaps due to the demands of Agile… • IF some development/QA has moved overseas… • IF your scarce resource is management/training… • IF you are using TWO, and processes are inadequate to support distributed teams… • IF _______________ How can combining TWO and agile help you? 11
  12. 12. Source: http://www.pmdocuments.com/2012/09/15/agile-scrum-roles-and-responsibilities/ Agile Roles and Responsibilities: Where do tech writers fit in? towerswatson.com 12
  13. 13. Case Study: COORDINATION Background: The developers started before technical writers got involved. So, it is not possible for the writers to work on the same things on the same sprint schedule as development and QA. Issue: How can the writers best participate? Should they skip documenting portions already developed and jump into the team sprint schedule? Or, devise their own sprint schedule, matching the team in dates but differing in content? Or another approach? What do you, as Documentation Manager, do? Let’s discuss. 13
  14. 14. Questions & comments! 14
  15. 15. Do you have questions about technical writing outsourcing? About Agile? Do you need help with writing? Training for your technical writers or Agile development teams? Saiff Solutions can help. Can we help you? 15
  16. 16. Type LAVACON if you’d like us to contact you to set up a private conversation, AND a chance to get a 70% discount on your LavaCon Las Vegas registration. LavaCon is the premier conference on content strategy and tech comm management, across a wide range of industries. LavaCon Las Vegas takes place October 25-28, 2016. 70% OFF REGISTRATION! 16
  17. 17. Email: barrysaiff@saiffsolutions.com Skype: SaiffSolutions Contact: +1 415 350 2959 +63 917 872 0929 Web: www.saiffsolutions.com CONTact US! 17

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