Technical Documentation – Challenges
A good solution
A good solution is XML-based and thus format-neutral. It functions in a modular fashion, so that text blocks can be also re-used for various versions. The pattern of formulation must comply with the applicable standard and the same applies to warnings.
A good solution ensures that employees are familiarised and up to speed in 4 to 5 hours. They can then work productively.
A good solution guides the editor. It is thus guided by a structure and must follow this structure absolutely. This enables the consistent structure of documentation to be maintained.
A good solution has a uniform pattern of formulation.
A good solution discourages the formation of compound terms and overlong sentences.
A good solution is a new beginning that is not burdened with legacy texts. This is because in most cases they are unstructured.
A good solution incorporates the control system (display texts). In this way, one can ensure that the content of the texts is uniform.
A good solution minimises the costs of translation.
Liability of the managing director
The managing director bears personal responsibility in respect of other parties for the contents of the operating manual. In the event of a claim, he or she must be able to show that a mishap would not have occurred if the machine had been used in a proper fashion. The operating manual serves as a safeguard that prescribes to the operator precisely what must be done in order to prevent a mishap. If the operating manual is inadequate and the operator has not been made properly aware of his/her responsibilities, then the managing director (manufacturer) is personally liable for the legal consequences.
For this reason, we consider the establishment of a legally sound basis for the manufacturer to be one of the primary functions of technical documentation.