Infographic: Measuring the Value of Technical Communication

We’re excited to share the result of measuring the value of technical communication survey. It was designed to get a top-level overview of one of the issues facing many professionals today, reporting value. Measuring content value is still in the early stages, and there is still a lot of dispute on how to evaluate content. The infographic breaks down some of the top problems measuring content, the obstacles to overcome, and actionable insights.


Measuring the Value of Technical Communication In the course of our work, we meet lots of technical communicators including writers, content architects, strategists, editors, and information developers. Over time, we noticed commonalities in the problems they were facing such as inadequate budgets, outdated technology, insufficient management support, or isolation within siloed departments. These problems may be indicators of being undervalued within an organization. To get a clearer picture of the magnitude of the issues, we designed a survey to learn what are the perceived benefits of technical communication, from the communicators’ point of view, and what challenges technical communicators face when presenting those benefits to the rest of the organization. We started with the basics: What are the benefits organizations gain from technical communication? Understanding The Problems at Hand We checked to see if respondents had problems measuring, relating, or reporting the benefits of technical communications to their organization. We took it as step further asking, "If your manager asked you to make a report showing your impact on the company, could you do it?" The biggest pain points in the content delivery process were the ones that require assessing the value of existing content. There were three common themes for not wanting change (their content delivery methods), in order of popularity: No access to data, no defined metrics, and not enough expertise to analyze the data. For the respondents who reported no need to change, losing control and fear of the unknown were the main drivers. When managing change, understanding these fears makes it clearer why your team members may be resisting change. With this knowledge, we moved on to asking respondents what was needed to change their attitudes. Obstacles to Overcome To recap, most respondents are writing multiple kinds of content, for multiple audiences, with small teams, and have insufficient resources. Most seemed overwhelmed by the scope and these resource limitations. Remember, 77% feel current content delivery methods are outdated and are no longer adequate. Having determined common barriers that respondents face, we then moved on to looking at what people are doing day-to-day and what they should do to maximize their organization's benefits. Weekly Tasks We found respondents who could clearly relate the value of their weekly tasks to the rest of the business were 20% more effective than their counterparts. Skills to Learn Analysis and reporting skill levels were between competent and intermediate. This identified a need to train these teams on metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and how to present them to management. Best practices for communicators include teaming up with departments that use your content for support, such as training, marketing, customer service, and management, to get the data needed to quantify value in your work.


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Rafi Pryntz-Nadworny

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