Shilpa Garg, Technical Writer at Workday joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninjas to discuss the power of detailed documentation.
Connect with Shilpa Garg and view Workday’s Knowledgebase here:
Shilpa’s journey into technical writing…
Shilpa has been a technical writer for 5 years now. She used to be part of the analytical world, housing big data, and dealing with business intelligence. Shilpa took a short break to teach middle school and high school students part-time. She had a lot of friends who were in technical writing and so she had a bit of an understanding about what they were doing, as she learned more about technical writing she found that she was able to use her skills within that role, so when she went back into full-time work she wanted to begin her new chapter in her career as a technical writer, from there she has never looked back.
Workday’s detailed documentation process…
Workday has a large ecosystem, so they have the development teams on one side, each writer is very integrated with the teams they support. This includes the product owners, QA and development, the writer will take part in every single meeting, they are involved in the UI tech and any kind of help documentation and release notes.
The writers create a variety of content such as patch notes which specifically talk to bugs, they have many other forms of documentation that they provide to their customers. They will work with their development teams to attend all the scrums because it’s an agile environment.
On the other end, Workday has the support of other writers such as editors, who will maintain the quality of documentation. Any time you write anything they go through peer reviews, they then go through editorial reviews, they have a complete doc QA day, this ensures that the documents are in sync and that they are free. The way they communicate with customers is through their open community which is only viewable by Workday customers.
Shilpa’s most important factors when creating documentation…
Workday has a fast-paced environment, so they provide users with a preview window, to make sure they have an opportunity to test out any changes that are coming their way. Workday’s release notes are very detailed, which means they provide a clear picture based on the feature/product updates. Within Workday they are providing power to the user, through being able to run a report for any particular release based on the version they are on. They make sure that they deliver documents with each feature update as well as the release notes. This means that their customers have no surprises and are in sync.
Who has Shilpa learned the most from throughout her career?
Shilpa explains that there have been so many people who have had an impact on her career, especially her family and friends.
Shilpa’s best documentation related resource…
Shilpa reads Tom Johnson’s blog and STC (Society for technical communications):
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