What's the value of a Technical Editor?
Discussion started by Rick Sapir , on 06 June 09:00 AM

Not all companies understand why it's important for them to have technical editor(s). In fact, many technical editors must justify their existence on a regular basis.

If you have some information that would help others understand the value-add, please share it on this page. The page is a wiki that anyone can edit!


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Milan Davidovic
It does depend on your processes, who's involved, the broader culture, industry, and so on. Once upon a time I worked in a drug and medical device labelling group; we were part of Quality and had to do the same business improvement/lean/etc. stuff that everyone else did. Processes and procedures got written up, were subject to audit, and there was hell to pay for non-compliance.
Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:36
Patricia O`Shea
I am sure that it various among idustries but, from what I can see, technical writers/editors are rarely involved in the process. Ironically, when I started writing documents, I was in Quality and part of the initial review of customer requirements. I write documents now but am not part of the contract review. In fact, I think the design engineer is the only one who reviews the customer requirements until the jobs are released.
Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:29
Milan Davidovic
The exercise needs to be done with everyone else in the process(es), as part of process improvement. And when non-compliance is found, the consequences need teeth.
Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:20
Patricia O`Shea
If there is any doubt, ask the compliance auditors. Unfortunately, once the documentation problems are resolved, the old value system is somehow re-instated.
Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:01
Milan Davidovic
The technical editor is part of one or more processes. Remove them from the process(es) (perhaps through some kind of value stream mapping exercise) and measure the impact. That would tell you what their value is, no?
Thursday, 22 September 2011 17:36
Patricia O`Shea
In the aerospace industry, if a technical editor maintains standardized document format and style, users know how and where to look for information when they receive a new procedure. Editors improve efficiency and reduce errors by allowing users to concentrate on content. In addition, editors keep many employees and employers out of trouble with customers and auditors when their research ensures accurate content that enables operators and technicians to perform their tasks in accordance with their procedure.
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 17:27