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Technical Documentation – Future proof and save time/costs

Technical Teams often produce a large percentage of their documents and Inefficiencies are introduced when teams create long and complex technical documents like GSPR, STED, regulatory documents (TFs, CER/PER, Annual reports like PSUR, SSCP, SSP, etc), with embedded data, tables and graphics.

The way technical teams currently create documents is not able to keep up with growth in life cycle changes (a small change in device description or a standard or a part number will lead to several documents going through change/review/approval process instead of applying bulk updates).

Creating technical documents efficiently

The volume of documents that an enterprise is required to publish will continue to increase. Following that analogy into the documentation environment, we have two basic, inter-related concepts to implement before you can start to achieve ‘document manufacturing’ efficiencies:

  • Data from databases or excels or variables embedded directly into Documents (as part of tables)
  • Reuse of content

Reuse of content requires writers to think “modular” about how to repurpose content, and how to write reusable content modules. Another solution is to reduce the amount of time that authors, especially Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), spend formatting documents. SMEs waste a stunning 30% to 75% of their time formatting documents in non-structured (freestyle) authoring tools. By using tools to enforce consistency, writers don’t have to worry about formatting because the styles are applied automatically.

If you change text or data at 1 place, it automatically changes in all the other documents that reference it. Compare this method to the traditional copy/paste, which can be a nightmare to maintain. There are several money-saving advantages to single sourcing:

  • Reduced QC/Approval life cycle management costs since chunks of text are reused and therefore not required to go through document life cycle processes. This can be a major cost saving in enterprises that have more than one language to translate to.
  • Increased consistency of information presented.
  • Reduced development and maintenance costs and shorter time-to-publish efficiencies.

Tools that support Auto Publishing and Reviewing

In addition to the authoring issues we have examined, enterprises need powerful publishing and reviewing capabilities. Publishing should be automated avoiding manual efforts fully. This is where many tools fall short. The tools must be able to publish to all the required outputs, such as print, PDF documents, online and XML outputs. The tools must also support a full reviewing cycle (both with internal and external stake holders), where documents can easily be sent to reviewers, reviewers can easily make changes, and their comments can be easily incorporated.

Please suggest a time to review your use cases or our tools to see how and where you can leverage for 40% and above time savings.