It's the digital age, so we deliver the information your staff and clients need, in whatever medium is most effective.
Paper-based manuals are relevant for documenting all your internal procedures so that you can maintain your quality systems, maximise health and safety, and secure business continuity.
If you are a manufacturer, we can provide clear illustrated instructions on how to operate your product. This will not only enhance your reputation for providing a quality product, but also a quality service that reduces training and support costs.Paper Documents & PDFs
Use screencasting to show users how easy it is to use your software. Watching someone else perform and explain a task helps to eliminate any anxiety users may have. Build trust by demonstrating what can be achieved with your software.Video
With clear descriptive and and easy-to-find instructional content, users can easily locate the information they need. This results in less downtime, fewer support calls, and higher productivity.Online Documentation
Bring your employees up to speed quickly with instructional videos. Video (including animation) can be an integral part of any training programme, reducing learning times in the process.Video
Mitigate harm to your business, staff and customers with clear, concise and up-to-date documentation. If policies, processes and procedures are not documented or are not kept up-to-date, how can you hold anyone responsible for ignoring them?
Find out what you don't know by documenting current reality.
Chances are, what you think your staff do, and how you think they go about doing their jobs, does not reflect reality. It's time to uncover what is happening in your business!
With process mapping workshops, staff feel valued on seeing their reality unfold. The mapped processes become a clear visual representation of what staff do to get the job done. Show your staff you are listening by taking on board what they do and how they do it.
With receptive staff, you will be in a better position to implement change. With current reality documented, you will be in a knowledgable position to implement effective change. Win your staff over before introducing changes. Together, managing change shouldn't be difficult.
The purpose of a manual is primarily to mitigate downtime. Where health and safety or business continuity is concerned, it's also about mitigating risk.
A manual must solve problems as soon as practicable. Finding the solution to a problem must be no more than three page-turns away or three clicks of the mouse. The solution (procedure) must be easy to follow. It must solve the problem; allowing the person to resume work with minimal loss of time.
Improve productivity by putting clear, concise and easy-to-follow documentation in place.
Providing help-desk support can be expensive. Sure, you can track how well and how often your staff are helping clients. There is the feel-good factor that comes with staff-client interaction. And of course, the more you help, the better it feels!
Would it not be better if your clients didn't have to phone through the problems they are having with your software? After all, it's far simpler to provide users with what they need, when they need it?
With effective online help, finding the solution to a problem should be no more than three mouse-clicks away.
Reduce your support costs. Empower users with effective and accessible Plain English online help.
Don't get caught out with the 'buddy' system of training. The buddy system is prone to personality-based assessment. Where health and safety is important, the buddy system can lead to serious harm. In Court, the buddy system will be difficult to defend and may in fact demonstrate negligence.
Embrace competency-based training programmes. Build a set of training documents based on learning outcomes. Each document is tailored to its respective audience. Whether it's the learner, trainer, or assessor, each role receives targeted documentation.
With a competency-based training programme, you can also build in evidence of attendance and achievement. Deliver consistent training programmes across all your workplace sites with competency-based programmes.
A picture paints a thousand words. It results in a leaner document and connects with people in ways that copious pages of boring text can never acheive.
Help staff to get up to speed faster. Reduce human error by providing clear illustrations.
Take things a step further, and show staff and customers how to perform tasks. Watching a video demonstration enhances the effectiveness of any training programme.
Why provide expensive one-on-one training when you can record once and train many.
Operating a machine on a production line should be as easy as operating a phone app.
A human-machine interface should be simple to navigate and operate. It should be clear what the user can do with the machine, and it should be clear what the machine is doing.
Look and feel is important. The 'look' equates to appearance. The 'feel' equates to behaviour. Inconsistencies in appearance and behaviour make a product feel unintuitive. This leads to frustration, increased documentation costs, increased training costs, and lower productivity.
For increased productivity:
With an intuitive human machine interface, you can eliminate poor design choices that will slow users down for years to come.
Empower users to work efficiently and effectively by giving them an easy-to-use human machine experience.
Adding clarity to the behaviour of onscreen controls enhances learning and productivity while reducing documentation requirements, training costs, and support costs.
Chris is a technical writer and illustrator based in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Chris brings clarity to your business's documentation, making it easier to read – saving your readers’ time.
With over twenty years experience in documentation, Chris can manage the documentation development process through to completion. This involves gathering relevant information, ensuring drafts are reviewed and feedback incorporated, and the completed documentation signed off. This process typically involves facilitating the involvement of a range of stakeholders with minimal impact on their time.
The principles of structured writing are applied to ensure content is:
Achieving simplicity involves balancing clarity with conciseness, and this can require a fair bit of analysis. Being concise and to the point is good, however, never sacrifice clarity for conciseness. Too little information can be just as ineffective as providing too much.
Clearly identifying the audience and purpose of the documentation makes it easier to:
Some information that feels important on the day to some stakeholders, or is considered nice to have, serves no purpose within the context of what is being written. Surprisingly, greater clarity can be acheived simply by deleting it.
Style plays an important role in the documentation process. Each information type, e.g., procedure, hazard notice, or policy statement, should be categorised and styled consistently throughout a document or suite of documents.
On a subliminal level, readers should be able to recognise particular types of information at a glance. For example, a hazard notice should never look like a policy statement. Procedure steps should never be mistaken for a numbered list of items, and vice versa. It's all in how you style your content that makes different types of information instantly recognisable.
If it's easier to read, it's more likely to be read.
This 3-hour workshop covers a range of principles that your team can apply to writing a range of documents.
We cover the principles of good business writing, and learn to:
Attendees will spend time in small groups for practical exercises and discussions.
Chris’s 'Business Writing Simplified’ workshop has been invaluable for our staff and business as a whole. Chris delivered a concise, interactive course that delivered to our needs.
An instant improvement in both internal and external communication has been noticed within Vet Services.
This workshop can be customised to solve the issues you may have with your businesses emails, reports and documentation in general. For more information about running a workshop for your team, get in touch with Chris by filling out the form below.
Being a small team it was essential to future proof the organisation in case a staff member left. Having documented processes and procedures enables new staff to get up to speed quickly, ensuring interruption to our business of granting to community organisations is minimised. We found Chris excellent to deal with. He quickly gained an understanding of our organisation and was a good sounding board for our questions and comments.
With Chris’s training programme, we not only have a manual, we have an in-house resource to maintain it. Already the manual has helped new staff come up to speed quickly, made it easier to transition staff from one set of responsibilities to another, and will help us replicate our operations to new locations as we expand the business.
We were pleased to find and identify Chris Heath as the person who could assist us with redocumenting our process and procedure manuals. I spent time working with Chris to establish our templates and content, resulting in a very good end product. I happily recommend Chris’ services to anyone who is considering this for their business.
Chris has been invaluable in getting our manuals and procedures up to date. This has kept Drug Free at the forefront of the drug testing business in an ever-changing environment.
Working with Chris was an absolute breeze. Not only was I impressed with the quality of his documentation, he helped us improve the user experience of our product.
Chris highlights the value of clear, simple communication which is important across all aspects of business; both internal and external.
Chris is amenable and innovative and has added good structure and process to obtaining a high-quality output from a large and diverse group of leading experts in environmental monitoring.
HB Technologies (HBT) is an IT company specialising in solutions for business. Starting in 2007, our personal approach to providing managed office services has seen more than 600 customers choose us for their office technology and support.
We have had the pleasure of engaging Chris Heath to assist us with developing a range of written material, including IT policies and procedures, proposal templates, user training videos and one-off assignments for specific written proposals to customers.
In all cases we have appreciated Chris’s ability to quickly pick up on what we require, make professional and considered suggestions for enhancements to the final product, and produce the required material always to the timeframes needed. We are always totally impressed with what is produced.
We find Chris incredibly easy to work with and appreciate his ability to completely “get” who we are as an organisation. His writing fully reflects who HBT is, and provides us with material that is well worded, geared to the target audience and thoroughly professional.
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Phone: 027 43 93 796