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WHY YOU NEED A
TECH COMM MISSION STATEMENT
Kai Weber
@techwriterkai
#tcworld13 - 7 November 2013
PROGRAM
My mission:
“To empower you to improve standing, effectiveness and
value as tech comm‟ers by use of a mission stat...
WHO AM I AND WHAT DO I KNOW?

Senior Technical Writer
 Documentation strategy
 Policies & procedures
 Topic-based autho...
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
“A written declaration of
an organization's core purpose and focus
that normally remains unch...
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
“To refresh the world...
To inspire moments of optimism and happiness...
To create value and ...
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
“Our mission and values are to help people and businesses
throughout the world realize their ...
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
“Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in
the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork ...
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
“Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many
people. Our business idea suppor...
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
Mission statement

Vision statement

Describes your (ideal) present

Describes your future go...
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
Mission statement

Strategic goals

Tactical initiatives

Policies & procedures, standards
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
“… an organization's core purpose and focus…”
Mission
Strategy & Tactics
Policies & procedure...
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
A mission statement helps
 To “talk business”
Add value
 Measure value


(not costs)
(not pages)
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
A mission statement helps
 To “talk business”
 To overcome silos



Serve corporate goals
Collabo...
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
A mission statement helps
 To “talk business”
 To overcome silos
 To add transparency
Define servi...
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
A mission statement helps
 To “talk business”
 To overcome silos
 To add transparency
 Everybody:...
DRAFT A MISSION STATEMENT
“Customers find relevant product information
quickly and in their context.”







Why
What
...
DRAFT A MISSION STATEMENT
“We put clear, up-to-date usage instructions
at users‟ fingertips.”







Why
What
Who
How
...
DRAFT A MISSION STATEMENT
“Your mission statement here!”











Enable strategy
don‟t foreclose it.
Guide tact...
DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS


Audiences
Consider “Who do we do it for?”
 User research and user needs
 User roles vs. pe...
DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS



Audiences
Deliverable formats
Consider “What do we do?” and “How do we do it?”
 Embedded/...
DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS




Audiences
Deliverable formats
Content model







Consider “Who do we do it for?”...
DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS





Audiences
Deliverable formats
Content model
Policies and procedures
Consider “What do ...
BENEFIT EVERY DAY





Audiences
Deliverable formats
Content model
Policies and procedures



Customers
Management
Ot...
FURTHER READING AND SOURCES
1.

Baker, Mark: “Why content jobs are never well defined”

2.

Blodget, Henry: “Apple‟s „Miss...
THANK YOU! KEEP IN TOUCH!

@techwriterkai

kaiweber.wordpress.com
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Weber, Kai - Why you need a tech comm mission statement - tekom 131107

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Why you need a Tech Comm Mission Statement and How To Get One

A mission statement is a central cornerstone of a successful content strategy. It gives documentation direction, describes its purpose and benefits and helps to set goals and standards.

The presentation encourages technical communicators and their managers to draft a mission statement to "future-proof" their documentation and to gain support for it.

Attendees will learn
- What a mission statement is
- How to draft one for technical communication
- How to derive other strategic goalposts from it
- How to benefit from it in daily work

Published in: Technology, Business
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Weber, Kai - Why you need a tech comm mission statement - tekom 131107

  1. 1. WHY YOU NEED A TECH COMM MISSION STATEMENT Kai Weber @techwriterkai #tcworld13 - 7 November 2013
  2. 2. PROGRAM My mission: “To empower you to improve standing, effectiveness and value as tech comm‟ers by use of a mission statement.” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Intro: Who am I and what do I know? What is a mission statement? Why should you care? Draft a mission statement Derive strategic goalposts Benefit every day
  3. 3. WHO AM I AND WHAT DO I KNOW? Senior Technical Writer  Documentation strategy  Policies & procedures  Topic-based authoring  Content modeling
  4. 4. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
  5. 5. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? “A written declaration of an organization's core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time.”     Why What Who How are we here? do we do? do we do it for? do we do it? From BusinessDictionary.com and Radtke Unique purpose and value Products and services Markets and audience Principles and values
  6. 6. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? “To refresh the world... To inspire moments of optimism and happiness... To create value and make a difference.”
  7. 7. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? “Our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.”
  8. 8. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.” See Blodget.
  9. 9. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
  10. 10. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? Mission statement Vision statement Describes your (ideal) present Describes your future goal “Why do you exist?” “Where do you want to go?” You accomplish the mission… … because you pursue vision From BusinessDictionary.com and Business News Daily.
  11. 11. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? Mission statement Strategic goals Tactical initiatives Policies & procedures, standards
  12. 12. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT? “… an organization's core purpose and focus…” Mission Strategy & Tactics Policies & procedures, standards     Why What Who How are we here? do we do? do we do it for? do we do it? Unique purpose and value Products and services Markets and audience Principles and values
  13. 13. WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? A mission statement helps  To “talk business” Add value  Measure value  (not costs) (not pages)
  14. 14. WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? A mission statement helps  To “talk business”  To overcome silos   Serve corporate goals Collaborate with other teams (not style guide) (not only editors)
  15. 15. WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? A mission statement helps  To “talk business”  To overcome silos  To add transparency Define services & processes  Give direction & focus  (not artisan products) (not ad-hoc improv)
  16. 16. WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? A mission statement helps  To “talk business”  To overcome silos  To add transparency  Everybody: Tech comm, company, customers!
  17. 17. DRAFT A MISSION STATEMENT “Customers find relevant product information quickly and in their context.”     Why What Who How are we here? do we do? do we do it for? do we do it?
  18. 18. DRAFT A MISSION STATEMENT “We put clear, up-to-date usage instructions at users‟ fingertips.”     Why What Who How are we here? do we do? do we do it for? do we do it?
  19. 19. DRAFT A MISSION STATEMENT “Your mission statement here!”         Enable strategy don‟t foreclose it. Guide tactical initiatives don‟t prescribe them. Motivate tasks don‟t regulate them. Involve stakeholders; brainstorm and iterate. Why What Who How are we here? do we do? do we do it for? do we do it?
  20. 20. DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS  Audiences Consider “Who do we do it for?”  User research and user needs  User roles vs. personas 
  21. 21. DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS   Audiences Deliverable formats Consider “What do we do?” and “How do we do it?”  Embedded/context-sensitive vs. web-based vs. print  Text vs. images vs. videos  Single-sourcing? 
  22. 22. DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS    Audiences Deliverable formats Content model       Consider “Who do we do it for?” and “What do we do?” Types and structure of content Metadata for exchange of “intelligent content” Task-oriented topic-based authoring? Standards? DITA vs. DocBook (Component) content management system?
  23. 23. DERIVE STRATEGIC GOALPOSTS     Audiences Deliverable formats Content model Policies and procedures Consider “What do we do?” and “How do we do it?”  Standard process and stages?  Specification? (Peer) editing? Translation?  Style guide? 
  24. 24. BENEFIT EVERY DAY     Audiences Deliverable formats Content model Policies and procedures  Customers Management Other teams, subject matter experts (SMEs) Fellow tech communicators  Other possible benefits?   
  25. 25. FURTHER READING AND SOURCES 1. Baker, Mark: “Why content jobs are never well defined” 2. Blodget, Henry: “Apple‟s „Mission Statement‟ Is Making People Worry…” 3. BusinessDictionary.com: “Mission Statement” 4. Economist.com: “Mission statement” 5. Radtke, Janel: “How to Write a Mission Statement” 6. Strategic Management Insight (SMI): I. II. Mission Statement for Success (definition and benefits) Mission statements (examples and analyses)
  26. 26. THANK YOU! KEEP IN TOUCH! @techwriterkai kaiweber.wordpress.com

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