Case studies in process improvement and technical communication

The case studies below show how Communication Partners helped businesses streamline the process of document creation, specifically in the area of technical communication, yielding increased efficiency and productivity.

Technical documentation standards create consistency—and efficiency

A major utility had two types of power production plants.   Each plant type used similar processes and has similar specifications. However, the technical/operating manuals for each plant had different organizing principles. As a result, operating personnel, though licensed to work at either type of plant, were not as efficient in switching between plants, because the reference manuals were not consistently structured. In addition, the technical writers on the utility's staff, who were responsible for maintaining and updating the manuals, worked less efficiently in the absence of a single standard in manual writing.

The utility retained Communication Partners to develop a set of unified Technical Documentation standards, ensuring that each key component of the manuals—from chapter and section headings, to specific nomenclature for important process and operating categories—was applied consistently across the company.

An engineering consulting firm revamps its writing process, delivering better product more productively

Senior executives at an engineering consulting firm were dissatisfied with the written work of the newer engineers on staff. They retained Communication Partners to train the less experienced personnel. In analyzing the company’s documents and processes, Communication Partners discovered that both managers and writers labored under the assumption that it was most efficient to write a document in one draft. However, this led to reports and letters that required substantial rewriting and editing by managers, an inefficient use of their time.  

To alleviate this problem, Communication Partners helped the organization institute a three-stage drafting procedure that actually shortened the document creation cycle, involved writers more heavily in the editing process, and allowed managers to focus on more strategic issues. In addition, Communication Partners provided a series of writing training sessions incorporating the procedures.

Style guide helps manufacturing firm meet ISO 9001 requirements

A manufacturing organization needed to develop a consistent format and style for its operational standards and operational guidelines in order to meet federal and international regulatory requirements. Communication Partners facilitated the process of developing a style guide and producing sample documents to illustrate the style principles.