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Lost in Tech-nical Difficulties? How to Rescue Your Project and Keep You and Your Writer Sane



Are you working with a technical writer on a project and things have veered off course? Don't panic! Here are five simple steps to help you save the project and manage your contract writer effectively:




  1. Communicate Clearly and without judgment: The key to any successful collaboration is clear and helpful communication - especially when things go wrong. If you notice the project is going off track or if there are any concerns, address them immediately with your technical writer on the phone or video chat and follow up with an email. Be open and honest about your expectations, and what you didn't like, give examples, deadlines, and any changes that may arise. Constructive criticism is always a balancing game. Listen as well, and be honest with your feedback. This individual is new to your team and is jumping into your project trying his/her best to be efficient and effective as quickly as possible.

  2. Assess the Situation: Take a step back and assess the situation objectively. Identify the root cause of the problem. Is it a misunderstanding, lack of resources / SME help, or unforeseen challenges? Understanding the issue will help you come up with your solution.

  3. Provide Feedback: Productive feedback is essential for improvement. Instead of pointing fingers or assigning blame, provide specific feedback to your technical writer about what is not working and what needs to change. A wise mentor once told me, that if you are pointing your finger at someone, 3 fingers are pointing right back at you. This simple visualization has aided me many times. Acknowledging their strengths and contributions to the project is a nice way to balance the feedback you need to provide.

  4. Adjust Expectations: Sometimes, the initial project scope or timeline may need to be adjusted based on the circumstances. Work with your technical writer to reassess the goals and deadlines working with their schedule as well, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a realistic outcome. Everybody wants the project to be a success!

  5. Stay Flexible and Supportive: Flexibility is key when working with contract writers. Understand that unexpected challenges may arise, and be prepared to adapt to changes as needed. Offer your support and SME resources to help your technical writer succeed in completing the project effectively.


Most of the time, you can get back on track when working with a technical writer and ensure the successful completion of your project. Remember, a calm and collaborative approach and a positive attitude can go a long way in managing any contractor. Achieve your project goals and save your sanity at the same time!




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