Not Merely Technical Writing

DSM Integration

As a technical writer, I am responsible for comprehensively documenting every single part of a software product. In doing this, I have found that I am in the unique position to know everything about the given product in tremendous detail--a position that no one individual in the Development, Support, or Marketing departments usually enjoys. Moreover, because I must deconstruct every part of the product in order to thoroughly and accurately document it, I can acquire insight through this comprehensive knowledge into how each and every part of the product intersects with and influences--or can--every other part. This, again, is a position unique to my role as technical writer.

It thus occurred to me that I can leverage this unique position and the product knowledge that attaches, to assist the Development, Support, and Marketing departments in their respective roles, each of which is also dependent on knowledge of the given product, albeit each from the perspective of its given function or role.

Accordingly, I have experimented with the creation of a process called DSM Integration, that can help your company create more usable, powerful products, faster, provide more informational and efficient technical support, and assist in marketing these products. I accomplish this by creating, and transmitting to the Development group, Support group, and Marketing group, central repositories of information pertinent to the development (both code and graphics), support, and marketing of each product. These repositories are in the form of documents, called Internal Development Notes, Internal Support Notes, and Internal Marketing Notes, respectively, that are created as I am writing the product documentation, which is a time when I am compiling everything known about the product.

The documents are transmitted to the development, support, and marketing groups, respectively, giving the developers feedback and suggestions for refinements and enhancements, providing support personnel with a database of facts and information (installation nuances, undocumented features, etc.) available for use during support, and presenting the marketing department with key features, benefits, characteristics, or other relevant information to assist in marketing and selling the product. This entire process makes explicit, and exploits, the relationship and the link between the product, and its development, support, and marketing processes, a critical and leveraging relationship that is usually non-existent or ill-formed in organizations.

This process creates, in other words, an integrated multi-node information matrix, providing a unique and powerful enhancement to your operations.

. . . . .

Here is a sample set of Internal Development Notes, Support Notes, and Marketing Notes, written by me for the software program Marionette:

Development Notes

Support Notes

Marketing Notes