Browsing articles in "Outsourcing"

Technical Writing Outsourcing: Helping Your Business Toward Success

Feb 14, 2019   //   by Barry Saiff   //   Blog, Content Strategy, Outsourcing, Tips for Doc and Tech Comm Managers  //  No Comments

blue and gold text that reads: outsourcing technical writing: a forum on a banner. Beside the text are four interlinking puzzle pieces with different symbols on them in gold: icons of people and a fountain pen nib.

In-house, outsourced, onshore, nearshore, and offshore outsourcing offers countless possibilities. How can outsourcing help? Companies have resorted to outsourcing for both foreign and domestic contracts for decades. We’ve seen this practice extensively in quality assurance and programming functions.

Technical writing outsourcing comes with a lot of risks and benefits. Many technical writers think that once their company outsources, they must lay-off existing writers, which results in reduced morale of their respective teams. Outsourcing often catches the blame as a cause of disruption, dysfunction, and organizational failure. In many cases, these negative outcomes actually result from poor management, including poor planning and managing of outsourcing.

Outsourcing, if done properly, can help your business improve both in processes and content quality. A multicultural team can give you an advantage. If managed well, it improves global responsiveness, provides quicker response times, and increases your team’s cultural understanding of your customers. Technical writing outsourcing can expand capacity at lower cost, give you a larger team, and produce higher output.

Barry Saiff, founder and CEO of Saiff Solutions, created a roadmap to outsourcing success in his book Outsourcing Technical Writing: A Primer. In this roadmap, one of the sequences involves Choosing an outsourcing partner. You want a vendor who is capable of meeting your needs, with a broad commitment to excellence. So, how will you choose a trusted partner for your documentation?

Technical Writing Outsourcing: Factors to Consider

Here are some of the factors to consider:

  1. Be careful about the country you choose – Consider factors such as language, infrastructure, economic growth, stability, and cultural fit.
  2. Get to know your vendor – Are they knowledgeable, competent, and honest? What types of quality control practices or systems do they have in place?
  3. Learn about your vendor’s approach to management – Instead of sharing your own management philosophy (which amounts to asking leading questions), ask probing questions about their attitudes.
  4. Take IT and data security very seriously – For example, ensure that their employee and consultant contracts include confidentiality clauses.
  5. Understand the vendor’s ownership and organizational structure.
  6. Ask for references or find them on your own, and be very careful about contracts.
  7. Before embarking on a large, risky project, try out the vendor in a smaller, lower risk pilot project.

Do you want to know more about the Roadmap to Outsourcing Success? Learn more about technical writing outsourcing to give your team an extra boost!

Head on over to XML Press and grab a copy of Outsourcing Technical Writing: A Primer today. You can also purchase the book on Amazon.

The History of Technical Writing [Infographic & Video]

Dec 13, 2016   //   by Barry Saiff   //   Blog, Content Strategy, Evaluating Technical Writers, Managing Technical Writers, Outsourcing  //  No Comments

Learn the key stages of transformation that the technical communications profession has gone through during the last five decades.

This five-minute video takes you through the history of technical writing, from the infancy of a new profession through a rebellious adolescence that led to a revolution in Unified Content Strategy and topic-based authoring during tech comm’s young adulthood.

 

Technical communications is now experiencing an identity-challenging paradigm shift in its midlife — in many cases moving from Engineering departments into Marketing, feeling greater pressure to outsource, and experiencing both challenges and opportunities from automation.

As you watch the video, you  can follow the tech comm profession’s exciting story with this infographic. Then, please ask us how you can help chart your organization’s technical writing transformation.

history-of-technical-writing

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Events: Virtual Summit on Advanced Practices in Technical Communication 2016

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December 6-8, 2016

The Content Wrangler is sponsoring The Virtual Summit on Advanced Practices in Technical Communication, a free, three-day event designed especially for technical communication professionals. The event features 12 free one-hour sessions from some of the industry’s best and brightest talents — experts in agile outsourcing, XML authoring, content strategy, content management, translation and localization, intelligent content, plain language, customer experience, and more. Learn more.

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As part of The Virtual Summit, Saiff Solutions, yours truly, is sharing its knowledge on Managing Technical Writing Outsourcing in an Agile Environment on December 8, 2016 at 6pm EST. Register below, it’s free!

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Webinar: Content Wrangler Sponsored, Managing Technical Writing Outsourcing in an Agile Environment

Oct 26, 2016   //   by Barry Saiff   //   Blog, Content Strategy, How-To, Outsourcing, Webinars  //  No Comments

tech-writing-outsourcing-in-agile

December 8, 2016, 3:00 PM PST
Hosted by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler
Presented by Barry Saiff, CEO of Saiff Solutions/Expert in Tech Writing Outsourcing and Fred Williams, CEO of Williams Technical/Agile Advocate

Value of Agile

Agile development offers advantages. Short cycles, cross-disciplinary teams, frequent short meetings, and input from users can lead to satisfied customers and faster product delivery. Technical writing outsourcing is often late to the game–with other teams already globally distributed. Even when technical writers are co-located with developers, process issues can pose obstacles. For example, without a mechanism for notifying writers of user interface changes, accuracy suffers.

Synopsis

Can technical writing outsourcing work in an Agile environment, even if writers are off-shore and developers are not? Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, Barry Saiff, CEO of Saiff Solutions, and Fred Williams, CEO of Williams Technical, for this free one-hour webinar. Our presenters will discuss how innovative organizations are successfully merging technical writing outsourcing with Agile development.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll learn the key steps to success in technical writing outsourcing, how outsourced writers integrate into Agile teams, and how to manage these approaches to improve quality, save time, and reduce costs.

Reserve My Seat bunny

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Saiff Solutions In The Media

- TechWhirl
- Nominated for 2015 Rice Bowl Asean Start Up

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Testimonials

“After Symantec acquired Brightmail in 2004, Barry played key roles in integrating the information development team and their content into Symantec’s then-developing Unified Content Strategy. Barry [Saiff]’s experience, product and content knowledge, and leadership qualities helped the Brightmail team to become a trailblazer within the company. The processes, tools, and practices they helped to develop for content management are used throughout the company, thanks in large part to Barry’s participation in numerous cross-departmental teams. Barry is a natural leader who can effectively contribute to any endeavor. He has a passion for serving customers that drives him to create and evangelize process improvements and to collaborate effectively with diverse groups and individuals. I would be glad to work with Barry again.”

Alexia Idoura (nee Prendergast)
Senior Manager, Symantec
February 16, 2011

Read more testimonials here.