The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 14–17 October 2023 | San Diego, CA
Dawn Stevens

Dawn Stevens is president and owner of Comtech Services, a technical communication consulting company. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Dawn offers a plethora of insight into best practices for technical communication, including minimalism and structured authoring. Dawn teaches a variety of training workshops on topics such as content strategy, DITA, taxonomy, Agile development, and editing. She is a regular presenter at conferences and in 2023 became the Content Wrangler for Let’s Talk Technical Documentation, a bi-monthly webinar dedicated to issues facing technical communicators.

To Move Forward First Know Where You Are

With the latest technology gains in artificial intelligence, companies look to their technical communication practitioners to rapidly offer leading edge support solutions that incorporate these technologies. Unfortunately, such pressure often results in fast-track shortcuts where technology is force-fit into existing content and processes. The time and cost of rearchitecting content structure, rewriting topics, retranslating words, and redefining workflow overshadows the cost of the technology itself. However, technology is not a solution, but a means to an end. To incorporate it appropriately and use it to its maximum benefit for their unique audiences, technical communicators must evaluate and adjust their content and processes for the technology, not vice versa. Before moving forward, we must take time to honestly and brutally evaluate where we are.

In this workshop, attendees will learn:

  • 10 content quality measures and the objectives and key results (OKRs) used to evaluate them
  • 11 characteristics of process maturity and their OKRs
  • The relevance of each of these measures and characteristics to the future of technical communication and their ability to adopt to new technologies
  • Examples of content and habits that must be addressed before they can effectively move forward
  • Attendees will take away evaluation checklists for all measures and characteristics discussed.