Why 21st Century Engineers Must Develop Their Technical Writing Skills

             

Engineers' expert technical skills don't always translate to good technical writing. Being a good technical writer certainly requires knowledge of technical language, but also requires the ability to convey this knowledge clearly, concisely, and precisely. 

Why do technical writing skills for engineers matter? Is technical writing really a proficiency engineers should focus on developing? Certainly, and here’s why.

Doing More with Less

Instead of having dedicated staff produce written engineering documents, many businesses have consolidated their staff to cut costs. Such consolidation may mean that engineers are writing more frequently and different types of documents, including trip and status reports, proposals, experiments, and even meeting minutes.

Modular Writing

Many businesses task their subject matter experts with writing collaboratively; the idea is that collaborative writing can save time and money by using resources and human capital more efficiently. Team-authored modules can be more, rather than less, difficult to write for many engineers, especially those who may be less than proficient at writing. When everyone has a good understanding of reader expectations for the documents, collaborative writing becomes easier and the final documents are more readable.

Relaying the Complex Simply

Engineers are often responsible for conveying technical information to those with less technical backgrounds. Therefore, they must have a good understanding of their readers and their expectations for the document. Proposals are a great example: if the engineer is unable to persuade the reader that that engineer's firm has the best solution in a way that's easy to understand, that prospect may move on to a company that can explain what they're going to do simply and clearly.  

Career Advancement

In all technical industries, effective writing skills could be the ticket to a job promotion. Engineers' ability to communicate expertise effectively makes them an incredibly valuable asset to the company.
After all, clear communication wastes less time and results in a better bottom line for the company. This can mean investing in courses to improve your engineers’ technical writing skills , which could have a huge impact on what your business accomplishes day by day.

Because engineers are technically minded, they can have difficulty using concise, reader-centric language and getting to the point. For help improving technical writing skills in your employees, contact Hurley Write, Inc .
Image Source: iStock.com/4774344sean
 
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