Writing manuals

I have always felt strongly about the quality of written artifacts generated by my department and employees. Some of my folks may likely further characterize me as obsessive in that respect, but I see properly written material as a mark of professionalism.

I was glad to see ISACA emphasize its importance with “Do You Have a Departmental Writing Manual” in last month’s ISACA Journal. They state documentation standards reduce the number of last-minute edits and rewrites and forces a shop to really consdier what it really means to communicate results effectively.

  • Composition, such as where to use specifics vs generalities, use of actives vs. passive voice, wording preferences, etc.
  • Formatting, such as use of templates and commentary on fonts, headings, spacing, utlining, etc.
  • Grammar, such as identifying a reference source for proper use, when and what to capitalize, acronyms, numbering and outlining, etc.

Now I have a standards body to appeal to when criticized for my documentation “over-zealousness”.  :-)