Tanja Lorber, the Senior Technical Editor at Stegmann System, joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninja and shares her experience creating quality documentation.
Connect with Tanja and Stegmann System here:
Tanja’s journey towards documentation
Tanja currently is part of a team of two, where both have over two decades worth of experience in the documentation. Tanja began her career in documentation when she was in university. She had enrolled in a technical writing training course and realized that she loves it. Tanja enjoys organizing, she’s a bit of a “neat freak” and likes to “put things into boxes and labels” – documentation then, was the only path she wanted to take.
Tanja’s documentation process
Tanja utilizes the Scrum framework, which makes the complex system easier to manage. Any change in the documentation creates a ticket. The team then picks up this ticket from the board and checks to see first if the build is available. They then talk – to subject matter experts, architects, and even the owners – for more information and build and adjust according to that.
Though they are currently writing PDFs, Tanja hopes they can move into HTML.
Regulated environment: An important factor
Tanja emphasizes, with the process and the system they have in place, a regulated environment is vital. The “software” and everything included in the process needs to be “qualified” not only for the customers’ ease but for the users as well. As such, any change that happens to the documentation has to be re-qualified to properly regulate things.
Tanja’s biggest influence
Tanja has no single influence – instead, she loves meeting writers. Writers have such diverse backgrounds, Tanja explains, strategies, and experiences, you always end up learning something new.
Tanja’s top documentation resources
Tanja is part of a documentation community and swears by it. This community of ‘documentarians’ or Write the Docs, has an answer for any question Tanja has and she has grown and learned so much from it.
The other is:
What advice would Tanja give her 20 year old self?
Ask questions, If you don’t understand. Tanja continues, you won’t be able to explain the product to the users. Not asking questions doesn’t hurt anyone except your own work. It was a mistake she had made in the past and the one she doesn’t want others to repeat.