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The Write Life- Helping Technical People Write Better

As user assistance developers, we often interact with developers and various stakeholders for understanding products or for information gathering, to complete our daily tasks. 

A requirement for training some of our colleagues on various aspects of writing was something out of the ordinary for us. Especially when it came from the IT team – the “technical” people. 

Prasada Rao from the IT team came up with the idea of providing training on writing skills for his team. 

Roopa Ravikumara long timer at SAP with a great networkquickly formed a team of writers with diverse experience. We had Vasantha Geetha, a senior writer, who has been a trainer and coordinator, Sruti, a passionate writer who works with APIs and dabbles in fiction, and Pallavi Viswanathan, who has her hands messy with videos, trainings and much more. 

Roopa along with Prasad and Ajay came up with an agenda, materials and assignments that would help the IT team with their day-to-day writing. We covered multiple aspects starting from target groups, research techniques, grammar, usage of graphics, storytelling and much more. 

There were multiple iterations to the course materials to cater to the needs specific to the team. These sessions were planned for three weeks, with two sessions every week. 

We had an orientation session in which we got to meet the participants and understand their expectations. We also gave them a birds-eye view of the upcoming sessions. 

The sessions then began with Target Groups. This was followed by: 

  • Research Techniques and Interview Skills 
  • Grammar 
  • Graphics 
  • The Art of Storytelling 

Every session had its own assignmentsexercises and end goals. This was to ensure that they could quickly put into use what they learnt during the session. With every session, we provided them with feedback on multiple aspects, like grammar, structuring, usage of words and much more. 

We also provided tips on how they can gather information, and how they can put across content in an effective matter. 

We also covered information on how Graphics can be used, the do’s and don’ts, and also touched upon basics of videos. 

It was a wonderful experience interacting with the IT team… with mutual learning for both the teams. We received good feedback from the team, as they are a little more confident with their writing skills now. We look forward to many such interactions with multiple teams across SAP displaying the true sense of One SAP Culture. 

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  • Great blog 🙂

    As a former UA, I always thought the key to writing good documentation is in telling a compelling story and answering fundamental questions for the user, no greater than: Why am I here?

    Is there a way to sign up for this training?

  • I really like this blog. It highlights how we need good writing skills, a way to understand requirements,  and a way to get better requirements.

    It's sometimes is hard to remember why technical people need great communication skills and great technical skills.  This blog highlights the reasons why they are needed.

    I found, quite early in my career, that writing was an important part of my job.  I worked for a pharmaceutical company.  It was required, to write requirements.  😉

    A while ago I found some great courses on design thinking, story boarding and gathering requirements.  They were at open.sap.com and they were free.  It's a great resource to have available.