Analytics: moving from cost to value

The times when technical documentation teams needed to justify their worth are well and truly over. Or are they? Here is how TC can deliver information that could be essential to the entire enterprise.

Text by Fabrice Lacroix


Analytics: moving from cost to value

Your tech doc team has written another manual, printed it out, put a nice cover on it, bound it, and placed it on your desk. Congratulations – this proves that they have done their job! You’ve paid for something, and there it is. In other words, this beautifully composed manual on your desk is evidence of one thing: money spent.

Presumably, it has value, or you never would have asked for it. But how do you measure this value? Dr. Deming ( famously said, "It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth." But if you have a choice, being able to measure is better. Indeed, we’d rather trust Lord Kelvin when he says: "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it."

Without measuring the value of technical documentation, all management knows is how much it costs (all those paychecks and supplies), but the value is taken on faith. ...