Part III: The Evolution of Help Authoring Tools : No More Silos
No More Silos
Advances in technology have led to larger technical teams and the integration of individual technical communicators into areas they were not previously included. At many organizations, technical developers are now required to get involved with product development from day one, making it necessary for them to work as peers with members of the engineering team or other subject matter experts (SMEs).
Developing documentation in compressed cycles requires professionals that can author, publish, and share their deliverables in (sometimes) twenty-four hours or less. The writing, although critical, is oftentimes just as imperative as the ability to rapidly deliver documentation to other departments in order to meet deadlines and rapidly deliver help to the screens of end users.
This organizational shift makes it imperative that HATs support multi-author collaboration and build tools suitable for use by multiple roles within a company. This includes building sets of tools that allow writers, designers, managers, and developers to work side by side using the appropriate tool that is not over or under featured based on that user’s role. Role-based usage should further force HAT vendors to review standard one-size-fits-all pricing models.