When promoted to the new vice president of BOLD Flash’s Mobile Division, specializing in high-tech storage components for electronic devices, Roger Cahill understood very clearly that his top priority was to get the struggling division back on track. As he started in on the job, he soon realized that problems with technical communications were a major cause of the division’s other problems. Rapid sales growth, reorganization of the division itself, the vast number of products, and the fast pace of new product development had all increased the challenges of effective communication between division teams and with suppliers, partners, and customers.
As the just-hired director of technical communications for the Mobile Division, you must analyze the current state of technical communications within the company. In your first days on the job, you have learned that there are no formatting requirements or templates for internal product documentation or customer materials, that individual techs often develop such materials without any structure or audience, and that the Technical Support team has received several hundred complaints about the complexity and, at times, inaccuracy of the instructions that accompany products.
What is more, various departments within the division have cited difficulties in understanding the products and services BOLD Flash’s Mobile Division has to offer because of the extreme technical nature of the various products. As one example, a project was conducted earlier in the year to prepare a response to an RFP (Request for Proposal) from the U.S. Navy for secure disk drives. Such contract responses require clear communication of technical aspects in a business context, yet upper management has had difficulty navigating the design specification documents and technical blueprints that the R&D group has prepared. Cahill has tasked you with developing training on technical communication for the division’s management team and with creating a cohesive plan for developing technical documents and communications that will benefit the company in the long run.
Based on the case study (BOLD Flash: Cross-Functional Challenges in the Mobile Division), the three artifact documents (internal business processes, product documentation, or technical service communication), and the above scenario, you must construct a plan of action for tackling the various areas of technical communications needs. You will also need to pick an area of focus (the internal business processes, product documentation, or technical service communication) to begin adapting the technical communications that already exist and are not meeting audience needs. To this end, you will produce a critique of an existing technical communication, including your methods for adapting the communication and your reasoning for the change. This will act as the basis for the technical communication training that you will develop for BOLD Flash’s Mobile Division management team. The most important piece, perhaps, is the inclusion of a framework and guidelines for creating effective technical communication.
ASSIGNMENT (Milestone Four): Communication Framework and Training Plan
In Module Nine, you will submit a communication framework and training plan (which includes any optional training videos submitted in Milestone Three). Your final submission should be a complete, polished artifact containing all the critical elements of the final product. It should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course.
Submit your communication framework and training plan, in which you:
Apply your instructor’s critiques of Milestones One, Two, and Three to create a professional plan of action for tackling the technical communications needs in your area of focus. This will serve as a framework and guidelines for creating effective technical communication and will act as the basis for the technical communication training that you will develop for the BOLD Flash management team. It will include a critique of an existing technical communication practice in your area of focus, your methods for adapting the communication practice, and your reasoning for the change.
Additionally, in your summary, discuss the adaptation of your plan of action to the two areas of focus that are not addressed in your plan, and what changes you would make to reach the target audiences in those other two areas of focus.
Note: Previous Milestones and Bold flash documents are attached