Writing From the Outside In: Don’t let internal processes sabotage customer success

Technical communicators and writing teams are often so focused on internal process and making documentation fit into the development cycle that we lose sight of who we’re trying to serve: the customer. We can get caught up in Agile development, find ourselves being dragged along by continuous release cycles, and get bogged down by our own documentation frameworks. These internal processes can obscure the reason we are writing docs in the first place: to help customers get the most value out of our products. How can we flip our approach to stop writing from the inside out – what did the developer build, what topic type should I use – and start writing from the outside in – why is a feature being developed, who’s it for, and what problem can it solve?

In this presentation, I will address the challenges of writing customer-focused documentation when internal processes make it difficult to see beyond individual doc tasks and minute features. Because many of us work in developer-centric environments where individual features get more attention than user goals, I’ll describe some ways that you can you stay aligned with the development and release cycle while keeping the big picture – and your users – in mind.

What can the audience expect to learn?

You’ll come away with a better understanding of where your internal processes are getting in the way of producing truly useful documentation that helps customers achieve their business goals, as well as strategies for staying customer-focused in a developer-focused environment.

Meet the presenter

Amy Bowman is an experienced technical communicator who has managed doc teams big and small at companies like VMware, ServiceNow, and Splunk. She has seen first-hand how internal process can get in the way of customers’ satisfaction with documentation and is passionate about helping writers make their content as user-centric as possible.


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