IT 520 Short Paper 1 MEMO

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT: International Gadgets New Communications Team

Introduction:

International Gadgets is a multinational company headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire. The company has various locations for manufacturing and sales of low and high-tech products. The company now needs a technical writing team to reconcile issues surrounding poor communication between various teams in the organization. Due to a rapid growth of the company over the past year, communication within the organization and its external counterparts has become ineffective. The breakdown in communication has led to delayed manufacturing, accrual of unnecessary costs, and a loss of revenue and profits.

Your company has hired me to develop a technical communications department comprised of the individuals that are needed in order to improve the problematic channels of communication. The problems arose from lack of experience from many first time managers, but also from lack of effective communication within teams and between teams. Teams did not collaborate efforts to ensure supplies and products were available, and communication all but crashed. The following recommendations for the communications team and its members are discussed below.

Communications Team:

International Gadgets needs to focus energy on the development of a technical communications team to reconcile the difficulties experienced in the past. The team will consists of the following individuals in addition to others as deemed necessary for successful communication.

The list of individuals above incorporates the majority of positions needed to fulfill the greatest needs in the communications department. There may be other positions needed ad hoc, but this will give the department a good start.

  • Project Manager/Lead: This person will be responsible for ensuring the project to correct communications stays on task and develops an appropriate plan of action to fulfill this responsibility.
  • Recruiters: These individuals will help seek out the technical writers to fulfill the need and ensure appropriate resources are readily available (“Building a Technical Writing Team,” 2011). They will ensure a diverse and multilingual group of writers are available.
  • Technical Writers: These individuals will be responsible for composing documents and other communications that will be utilized within the company to detail the information that needs to be conveyed out to the various audiences. These individuals will have specific training and backgrounds sufficient to compose the information requested from the end users into a clear and concise message out to others within the company (“Building a Technical Writing Team,” 2011).
  • Native English-language speakers: IG employs individuals who speak English, therefore, there is a need to have technical writers who also can communicate the information in English (“Building a Technical Writing Team,” 2011).
  • Foreign-language specialists: IG employs individuals who speak other languages in various countries, therefore, there is a need to have technical writers who also can communicate the information in the foreign language that is spoken in China, Brazil, Munich, Paris, Moscow, Brussels, Switzerland, and any other country that may come to do business with IG. Although most foreign business partners do learn English as a second language, there are still many jargon phrases that can be misinterpreted or lost due to poor understanding of the information. These foreign-language experts can ensure that the communications are conveyed appropriately (“Building a Technical Writing Team,” 2011).
  • Quality control workers: These individuals are hired to ensure that the information written actually makes sense. If a technical writer composes a document that is clear and concise, but does not make sense in the context needed, or if it cannot be easily understood, then the document is useless. Quality control ensures that what is being produced is accurate and reviewed by peers and subject matter experts (“Building a Technical Writing Team,” 2011).
  • Researchers of Technical Communication: These individuals must understand the issue at hand, research solutions to the problem, and then develop material that will alleviate the problem at hand. The quality control workers ensure that subject matter experts give the “stamp of approval” on the material. However, before it gets to the QC workers, research must be done to ensure the information collected is correct (“Technical Writing Research: The Key to Success,” 2011).
  • Trainers: Communication within a large organization cannot be funneled through a single communications department. Email, texts, IMs, and other daily written or oral communication methods within a large corporation will be performed. In order to maximize the benefit of these daily communication activities, a team of trainers should be utilized to teach proper skills in order to eliminate the inaccuracies (“Defining Technical Communication,” 2015).
  • Web designers and developers: These individuals will be utilized to convey the information needed onto the web page so that customers will have a clear and concise understanding of the products available, the contact information for follow up, technical information, and other pertinent information related to the company. These individuals will also allow for translations to occur in the various languages in order to bridge the communication gap (“Defining Technical Communication,” 2015)

Rationale:

The rationale behind the new technical communications department is to improve the miscommunication within the company’s many departments, between offices either state-side or abroad, and most significantly between the company and its customers. Last year there was so much information that was miscommunicated. The miscommunication stemmed from the hiring of many new managers in a variety of areas. These individuals did not work as a group, but in silos. This led to shortages in supplies, a loss of a customer to a competitor, loss in revenue, and incurred costs due to legal documents not being produced correctly.

Closing:

The new technical communication team will start by utilizing the best methodology to establish a formal team to create training material for communication and correct documentation. This team will work together cohesively and will be responsible for writing legal documents, other formal documents, publish materials to the web page, and ensure appropriate translation between various languages. The researchers will be responsible for determining the stake-holders involved in each area, including customers, to gain feedback to ensure that the written material is appropriate, and quality control personnel will constantly seek approval from these critical parties.

Once the specific members are chosen and start working on the larger project of improving the channels of communication, the pieces will start to flow and communication will become a strong attribute of International Gadgets. This will not be an overnight process, but with due diligence and patience, this company will once again be an effective, efficient company supplying high and low tech gadgets to promote business productivity.

References

Defining Technical Communication. (2015). Society for Technical Communication. Retrieved

May 29, 2016, from http://www.stc.org/about-stc/the-profession-all-about-technical-communication/defining-tc

Technical Writing Research: The Key to Success. (2011). Retrieved May 29, 2016, from

http://www.writingassist.com/newsroom/technical-writing-research-the-key-to-success/

Writing Assistance, Inc. (2011, January 11). Building a Technical Writing Team | Writing Assistance, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.writingassist.com/newsroom/building-a-

technical-writing-team/