Technical Writing & Editing

Is There Consistency in All Your Company Documents?

Is your Online Help Documentation Clearly Focused on Your Customers?

Without a thorough documentation audit, you could suffer productivity challenges and loss of reputation. A documentation audit is an in-depth review of documents that helps clarify what’s needed to work toward a consistent communication infrastructure.

Any successful business is built on a strong foundation. That foundation can include systems, processes and people that create a secure framework of support on which the business operates. One of those critical systems should involve the documentation a company produces. This can include a variety of publications, procedural documentation, compliance documents, etc. that exist in various departments, such as:

Policies

Standards

Training Materials

Marketing

IT Department

Operations

HSQE

Customer Service

Employee Newsletters

In short, without a complete “set” of consistent documents, your company runs the risk of sending out mixed messages by speaking with many voices—that is, the sales voice, the boardroom voice, the Human Resources voice, the public relations voice, the interdepartmental voice, etc. And this inconsistency can lead to costly outcomes, including:

  • Internal productivity challenges
  • Frustration and loss of trust among both customers and employees
  • Which can all point to unnecessary expenses and a diminished reputation

Creating a company-wide style guide with an underlying master glossary solves this identity crisis. However, to create these invaluable communication tools, a comprehensive document audit must be made. This must be Step One in the process in order to get a good understanding of the status of documentation. Working with single documents in isolation will not provide sufficient consistency to maintain continuity with all communications.

The document audit

Cohort will undertake a specialized document audit for you, which involves studying documents and looking closely at items such as:

  • Font size and type
  • Ways images, diagrams, charts and tables are used and captioned
  • How headlines appear
  • Where and when bullets are used
    Areas of inconsistency
  • What kind of software is used to generate documentation as well as where the documentation is stored (e.g., SharePoint, LiveLink)

At the end of the documentation audit, Cohort will provide a report summarizing the findings, along with specific recommendations for moving further forward. One company, one voice.  The eventual goal of a documentation audit is to gather information that will help you standardize your company’s forms, formats, words, phrases, fonts, images and tone. An experienced technical writer can help you through the process from start to finish.

Begin the journey to improving your documentation with a content audit.

For a free, no-obligation quote, contact us today at info@cohorttechcomm.com, or call us at 403-970-9137.

Our Values

The following values are woven into the DNA of our business:
Trust, Transparency, Clarity, Consistency, Respect.

Our Mission

Cohort Technical Communications Inc. helps our clients reduce their risk and gain peace of mind through the implementation of documentation best practices and infrastructure.