Quantifying the value of documentation

Does your documentation team still have a bad reputation as an onerous cost center adding little value to your company? Time to put the figures on the table!

Text by Selvaraaju Murugesan


Image: © deepblue4you/istockphoto.com

Over the past decades, companies have hired technical writers to produce documentation for their software products or services with the intent of helping customers configure their products and troubleshoot in case of any issues. Yet, in many traditional product and service-oriented companies, technical documentation still suffers from the reputation of generating little value. Some consider documentation an add-on or cost center. Hiring professional technical writers is perceived as a cost to the company rather than an investment.

It's time to clean up these prejudices and make a case for the true business value of technical communication. Let’s look at some metrics that can help showcase what technical writers actually contribute to the business.

Why measure the value of documentation?

Documentation contains product features, service procedures, troubleshooting guides, standard ...