Guest Blog: How do Policies and Procedures intersect with TechComm?

Monday, August 12 2013 @ 8:38 AM, By Maxwell Hoffmann

In this guest blog, Policies and Procedures expert Raymond Urgo shares highlights from his recent webinar, “P&P Sess 1) Policies & Procedures Communication versus Technical Communication – What’s the Relation?.” You will definitely want to view the webinar recording, but in this brief blog Raymond gives a good overview of the areas where TechCom and P&P intersect or differ from one another:

What’s the Relation between P&P Comm and Technical Comm? –
Short Answer

They areLOC_PP_image

  • similar  when  it  comes to communicating certain outputs,
  • different when it comes to subject matter and certain outputs,  and
  • sometimes complementary to each other’s purpose.

Both should seek to create easily accessible  and understandable information for a specific audience that enables positive outcomes.

Definition of Technical Communication

Refers to the body of knowledge (field and/or profession) about how content is obtained, designed, conveyed, and used as it relates to the practical, industrial, or mechanical arts or the applied sciences.

model_reportExamples of Technical Communication

  • Manual or online help for operating an accounting software application.
  • Troubleshooting instructions for a telephone line hookup.
  • Product literature on how a medical device works.
  • Scientific report or article on results from a laboratory experiment.
  • Proposal for engineering a missile-defense system.
  • Web pages for a company selling products via e-commerce.

Definition for P&P Communication

Refers to the body of knowledge (or discipline)  about  how content is designed, conveyed, and used as it relates to the principles and methods that enable people affiliated with an organization to perform in a predictable, repeatable, and consistent way.

Examples of P&P Communication

Policies

  • Non-discrimination commitment in employment
  • Guarantees on products and customer service

Processes

  • Workflow of a purchase order among departments
  • How accounts payable handles bills for payment

Procedures or instructions

  • How sales clerk sorts daily sales orders
  • How to create a work order

 

Example: Tech Comm and P&P Comm  Working Together

Example of Tech Comm Role

Tech Writer works with the development team of an accounting software company.

She prepares manuals, online help, videos, training tutorials, and marketing info for products sold.

Example of P&P Comm Role

ABC Company is implementing 123-Accounting software.

The CFO wants the P&P Analyst to prepare P&P to ensure the software and data are treated as an information resource in the context of the business.

The P&P Analyst works with the accounting groups to formulate and document agreed-to practices  for the Accounting Dept’s P&P manual or Web-based Help system.

Summary of example

  • The Tech Writer documents how to use the software (as a technical product).
  • The P&P Analyst helps the accounting groups formulate and document their needed practices with the implementation of the software in the context of the business (a product designed to meet the organization’s needs.)

Note: Some organizations might combine both sets of information to be customized and tailored to the organization’s needs.

1990 ReportKey Conclusions of 1990 Study on Advertising Practices for P&P Talent

  • Organizations have  difficulty finding the right talent because they do not know where and how best to advertize for P&P talent.
  • P&P talent probably has difficulty finding many of the P&P opportunities if they don’t think like the organization’s people placing the ads.

About our guest blogger: Commonly known as “Mr. P&P”, Raymond Urgo holds the honorary rank of fellow in the Society for Technical Communication for his contributions to Policies & Procedures Communication. Urgo, who has observed and studied the P&P marketplace for more than 30 years, provides consulting to a variety of industries through his firm, Urgo & Associates. Urgo’s previous webinars with AdobeTCS have drawn record attendance!

 

An excellent solution for Policies & Procedures: RoboHelp 10!

Many customers have discovered the dramatic time and cost savings of authoring and managing dynamic P&P content with RoboHelp. You can link or import Word or FrameMaker files as your source files. Many other file formats (even PDF) may be used to import source contents. After watching this recorded webinar, you may wish to have your own hands-on with RoboHelp. The quickest way to do this is to have use a trial copy of Tech Comm Suite 4, which includes FrameMaker 11 and RoboHelp 10. You can try your own hands-on by clicking here. This link also includes a link to a Quick Start Guide for RoboHelp.

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