Through many meetings and interviews, we have been asked questions about our formula for success and our approach to each client’s particular needs. For your consideration, we have compiled several of the most frequently asked as well as some that we think we should be asked.
FAQ Sections:
Outsourcing and Proprietary Concerns
Success and Budget Concerns

Outsourcing and Proprietary Concerns

How can outside technical writers come into our company and quickly become productive without knowing our technology?

We are truly technical writers. What this means is that we’ve probably already learned about systems similar to yours. Should your project be of such a cutting-edge technology that we need to learn it, then rest assured that we will begin your project with a solid understanding of the concepts upon which your system is built. MSD is an engineering services firm that capitalizes on the knowledge of YOUR employees, while learning just enough to complete our tasks.

We have our own technical writers. How can your company help our existing documentation staff?

MSD brings a vast and varied level of experience that most tech writers are not able to develop in today’s rock-steady job market. Our senior writers have worked with many companies and have seen how documentation is developed in a wide variety of environments. We’ve also learned from our mistakes and the mistakes of our clients. Of course, we’ll be happy to share our experiences with your documentation staff all with the objective of making your documentation the best it can be.

We are concerned about our proprietary information leaking to the outside world. How can your company ensure that doesn’t happen?

MSD is always happy to execute non-disclosure agreements with our clients. Additionally, we believe that our type of service is best provided at our client’s facility. This helps to minimize the amount of data leaving the client’s facility and maximizes productivity. We’re also very familiar with the procedures and responsibilities of working in a secure environment.

We’ve never outsourced this type of work before. What are some of the possible arrangements between our two companies?

The type of contractual arrangement really depends upon your company’s documentation needs. MSD has successfully contracted our services under time & materials (T&M) contracts, hourly consulting-type agreements, or under fix-priced arrangements in response to your statement of work (SOW). Flexibility in meeting our client’s specific needs is key to our success.

We’ve already developed numerous documents. Will we have to start over when outsourcing to your company?

If you’ve already spent time and money developing other documents, then that is where we will start from. Depending upon the requirements you present to us, we will use your existing documents as a template or a souce for technical information. We always make every effort to utilize ALL of the existing sources and resources to develop your technical documents.

We don’t want to outsource our entire documentation effort. Can we just solicit your company’s help when we need it?

Absolutely! As mentioned above, your company can request the services of The DocuDr. on an hourly or as-needed basis. The DocuDr. also offers a special program referred to as a The DocuDr.’s House Call for a flat fee. This program helps you to establish a plan for developing your documentation and a strategy for avoiding the most common pitfalls.

Success and Budget Concerns

We’ve dealt unsuccessfully with many other tech writing contractors and documentation companies. Why will MSD succeed where all these others have failed?

MSD’s approach to creating technical documentation is unique in that we treat it as part of the engineering development process. Our education and experience in system’s design, development, and implementation will prove a great asset in creating your technical documentation. These benefits will be realized by your company as (1) cost savings, (2) improved documentation methodologies, (3) enhanced customer satisfaction, and (4) improved product marketability.

We are worried about costs and are operating under a $$ cap. What assurance can MSD give that we won’t fall into a bottomless money pit?

We are very aware of the reputation some consultants have given our industry for “milking” a job. At the beginning of every project, we scope out the effort to determine how much work can be accomplished for a given $$ amount and time frame. We know from experience that our success is based upon your satisfaction – satisfaction that sits squarely on our ability to meet the budget and time line. In fact, we are so confident in our abilities, that we’ll gladly work on a progress-payment basis to minimize your risk.

We were very impressed with The DocuDr.’s background and experience. How do we know that MSD won’t hand us a junior or less experienced technical writer once the contract is signed?

The DocuDr. participates in every project and with every MSD client. MSD’s scoping of your project is done to determine the level of expertise needed by MSD’s writers to complete your task satisfactorily. You have the choice of requesting 100% participation by The DocuDr. or, at a minimum, an oversight or advisory role by The DocuDr. The DocuDr. always makes regular check-ups to ensure that the work being done by MSD’s writers is to your satisfaction.

We receive a lot of resumes with the title of Senior Technical Writer. How do we know we are getting the right documentation candidate for our tasks?

The title of Senior Technical Writer is way over used, and often by those that barely have one year of actual experience. A hiring company should understand two key aspects of the documentation tasks to be accomplished before hiring someone to do the work. (1) Do we need someone to actually create original content to complete the writing, or would an editor with the ability to clean-up or re-write our content be best? (2) Do we need someone to complete the post-deployment documentation for our end-user or customer? Or, are we in need of a suite of internal technical documents targeted to the design or maintenance engineers?

If you can clearly represent to your candidate what it is you want them to do, then they should be able to tell you whether they can complete your task or not. And, if they say that they can do it, but have never done that type of work before, then consider another candidate. Otherwise, you may have to give your engineers a heads-up that they will be spending their valuable time helping your writer reach the finish line.