Maine based Oakhurst Dairy was recently sued by a handful of truck drivers seeking more than four years worth of overtime pay—but the suit wasn’t about milk distribution at all. Rather, the legal battle revolved around the use (or lack thereof) of a single comma. But grammar wasn’t the problem—standards were.
Many of us know Amelia Bedelia from our childhood (or parenthood) as the goofy maid who is constantly misunderstanding directions. For those who aren’t familiar, Amelia is a hard-working maid who all too often misinterpreted her employer’s commands. Typically, she would interpret common figures of speech or idioms quite literally.
Here at Dozuki, we see a lot of technical documents. In all of this written work, we inevitably come across some mistakes. But hey, pobody’s nerfect. That said, when you see as many technical documents as we do, you start to notice trends. Trends in technical documents can be dangerous because they create systemic inefficiencies in your procedures and impact the overall quality of work.
To help you avoid these issues in your organization, we’ve compiled five common tech writing mistakes to avoid, based on our experiences helping companies create instructions.
When you regard continuous improvement as a mindset, rather than just a procedural practice, you realize it has a much wider set of applications.
For most of us, it’s clear that improvements to standard operating procedures (SOPs) directly improve efficiency. However, all too often we focus on what’s being said and not how we’re saying it. But there’s no reason that you shouldn’t eliminate written waste and become lean with your instructions as well.