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Improving Business-Critical Documentation

An Australian transport organisation sought to consolidate its engineering policy and process manuals—with multiple manuals and inconsistent versions stored in numerous repositories—into a single, comprehensive suite of procedures covering all activities undertaken by its engineering division. This was a major transformation project which aimed for a 40% reduction in the volume of procedures. The organisation completed the planning stage internally, devising an information architecture and document structure for the new manuals.

Driver for Change

As internal writers began to work with the individual procedures, it quickly became apparent there was significant inconsistency between document sources regarding terminology, document structure, labelling and version control. The scale of the task at hand—with 4,000 pages of content waiting for review—made the project’s deadline seem unattainable, but the deadline could not be moved.

What TP3 Delivered

The organisation engaged TP3 to recommend a writing methodology that would allow for easy synthesis and consolidation of the documentation.

TP3 worked alongside the client's writing team to:

  • Assign three Technical Writers and a Lead Consultant to work in the project team, all of whom were experienced in mapping information
  • Train the client's writing team in the principles of structured writing and their application to the development of policies and procedures documentation
  • Design templates to assist the writers in preparing documents
  • Prioritise chapters for review and improvement
  • Allocate work amongst team members to best suit their skills and experience
  • Coach internal writers
  • Consult with subject matter experts (SMEs) to extract relevant information
  • Review and edit all draft documents
  • Consult with SMEs to gather feedback on drafts and to incorporate feedback into final versions.

Business Impact

TP3 developed the tools and transferred the necessary skills to the internal writing team, and assisted the team to complete a large component of the work required. The internal project manager praised TP3’s expertise, fresh perspective, project management expertise and simple approach to the project. The organisation is very satisfied with the transfer of knowledge from our consultants to its team, enabling them to continue the project and eliminate 430 processes.

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