Technical Writing Project Management Process

Phase I: User Analysis

For whom are we writing?

In as much detail as possible, describe the product, service, or result user(s).

Why are we writing for this user?

As clearly as possible, know what it is the user needs right now in order to do what they need to do. Usually, they need:

  • more information about how something works,
  • help with a specific situation, and/or
  • a particular problem solved.

Phase II: Content Strategy Design

How must we let the user know about a new product, feature or update?

As clearly as possible, know the minimum deliverable the client needs and wants.

What will the user’s full experience be?

Hypothesize ways the user will access the required deliverable. Then, think of the different ways they can become aware of this product, feature or update. How will the user access the deliverable while using the product? What about when they’re not using the product?

What type(s) of content will the user need?

Deliverable options include:

  • article,
  • blog or blog post,
  • Email,
  • explainer video,
  • instructions,
  • manual,
  • message, and
  • website.

Phase III: Content Development

What information does the user need?

Ensure the deliverable provides content that is correct, concise, consistent, clear, call-to-action, complete, and current.

How should content be structured?

Process options include:

  • how-to,
  • pop-up, and
  • simple text.

What is the best format that maximizes user experience?

Experience options include:

  • checklist,
  • frequently asked questions (FAQs),
  • hyperlink,
  • list (bulleted or numbered),
  • steps, and
  • tool tip.

Where are the best places for the user to access the content?

Access options include:

  • help button,
  • help center,
  • on-screen,
  • print, and
  • troubleshooting area.

Phase IV: Feedback Implementation from Reviews

What feedback should we consider?

Options include feedback from:

  • Legal (if applicable),
  • Management,
  • subject matter experts (SMEs), and
  • teammates.

What is the best way to test our deliverable(s)?

Test the deliverable with a peer or friend. See if they are able to complete the task as expected. Then, get feedback directly from the user via reviews, focus groups, complaints, etc.

What is the best way to incorporate feedback?

Edit the content as necessary, but advocate for user experience above other considerations.

Phase V: Distribution

How would the client like the user to access our deliverable first?

Upload the deliverable(s) to a Content Management System (CMS) as appropriate.