The Process of Writing Technical Specifications and Technical Documents

technical writing

So, you are faced with the need to create documentation detailing the technical specifications of your product.

Now would be a good time to hire a professional technical writing company to do the work for you.

However, if you are determined to write it on your own, then you could (hypothetically speaking!) try it out for yourself.

What Goes Into Technical Document Creation?

There is a lot of work involved with creating a full and accurate technical document, especially when it’s for technical specification purposes. The information needs to explain exactly what the product does, either on the frontend or backend, how its features work, and so on.

To make it simpler, here is some insight on some of the specific processes that a technical writer must go through, when creating specification document.

  1. Networked Communication

A technical writer needs to communicate amongst a group of individuals who are involved with the product, or a client that represents all entities. The purpose for this is to get a solid grasp of the complex theories, knowledge and processes that are involved with the product. She needs to understand it at the highest level possible in order to be able to detail it for others, with a degree of authority.

  1. Specifications Listing and Defining

A technical writer must gather a list of all the specifications of the product. This isn’t as simple as “blue, box-shaped” but rather a detailed list of specifications that are requirements for the product. Not only will the specifications have to be gathered, but they will have to be defined – often this involves taking complex theories and translating them into layman’s terms.

  1. Reader Profiling

It is important that the technical writer understands who will be reading the document. This will give them a better idea of the level of terminology that should be used. For instance, an end user may need a layman-termed document that is easy to read and highly clarified, from the original information. On the other hand, a stakeholder overlooking the material will need a very detailed understanding of the product specifications.

  1. Create a Style Guide Development Outline

It is important that there is an outline in place for future technical documentation creation. This is because most documents will fall in line with the details found in the specifications document. The style guide development outline will allow for the company to maintain the same image and voice in all materials, allow for an easy transition between technical writers, specify the style issues that may be modified or that are mandatory and much more.

  1. Document Structuring

The specification document must be structured properly. This will make it easier to write the entire document, without leaving out any details or falling off track. It is normal for information to cross over between different sections, so creating a play-through of the structure will make it easier to create the right impact for the reader. Different types of documents also require different formatting, which only goes to enforce the importance of the structuring process.

  1. Stakeholder Buy-In Appeal

The educational value, detailed descriptions, and concisely accurate display of information to back up the specifications of the product are essential when appealing to stakeholders. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as you want the document to be of actual value – if no one “buys in” then either the writing or the product is lacking.

  1. Document Creation, Drafting, and Review

With all the information that has been gathered and all the planning that has been done, it is finally time to start writing the document. Upon completion, the first draft will be presented to the client. From there, further drafts may be completed to refine the document and get it right until the final draft is approved.