BY Subhajit Sengupta | April 21, 2016 | Blog

February in Bangalore is warm. And it became warmer on 25 and 26 Feb, when more than 300 technical communicators and language professionals across the world hobnobbed with each other at the annual TC world conference, held at ITC Gardenia, Bangalore. This annual event, jointly organized by #tekom and #TWIN, has gained tremendous popularity and wide-spread appreciation for creating a robust platform that promotes healthy discussion and insightful sessions on emerging trends, technologies, and best practices in the field of technical communication.

I had a privilege of attending this conference as a speaker, where I talked about imbibing Kanban into the Documentation Development Life Cycle, but pleasantly realized how the entire technical publication community was either adopting it, or greatly warming up to the idea of “Stop Starting and Start Finishing”.

Stop Starting and Start Finishing

Today with the disruptive innovation, fuelled by the infinite growth of #SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) and #IoT (Internet of Things), the way people communicating and experiencing information is fast changing. It has become more fluid and asynchronous. So, to contribute to this rapid techno-social-cultural revolution seamlessly, it is critical that technical communicators jointly bring in revolution in Uber-izing the technical communication by making the content ubiquitous, which means information to be accessible from everywhere and from all the different device types that people are using.

Among all these useful and inspirational talks, technical communicators still needed to address one grappling challenge – the challenge of living and working within an ecosystems with many dependencies. Like any other professional services, technical communication needs more evolved and matured planning, scheduling, authoring, reviewing and publishing mechanism, which, at the end, ensures faster and smoother content delivery in a predictive manner, and with a superior quality. Here came my talk on Kanban where I shared my experience of implementing it in the Documentation Development Life Cycle. Some of the key advantages of using #Kanban and a Kanban tool are:

  • Complete Visualization of the Workflow of DDLC activities like planning, authoring, reviewing and so on
  • Start applying Work-In-Progress (WIP) limit at each activity level by allocating capacity according to that demand
  • Pull my documentation work into the value-stream using Kanban card and maneuver it end-to-end till it gets completed
  • Use Kanban board to monitor my work regularly and resolve any constraint or bottleneck as early as possible
  • Monitor the health of the documentation project using powerful analytics like Cumulative Flow Diagram, Throughput, Cycle Time, and so on.

So, in short, I can try and experiment a new Horizon like creating a Help document for an augmented reality product, but Kanban keeps me on ground by indicating whether I am fit enough or have the capacity to take that challenge.

The conference also facilitated informal interaction and booth hopping during multiple breaks. The soulful rendition of saxophone and impromptu dance moves by the attendees at the dinner party were some memories that everyone cherished before bidding adieu to each other with a promise to meet next year.

Subhajit Sengupta
Content and Communication Manager

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