The Write Way

Use Clear Writing to Support Business Goals

Businesspeople working together at laptopWhen you think of necessary skills for your company’s IT department, technical writing might not be at the top of your list. But these capabilities are exactly what the IT staff at Dillard’s uses in its interactions with management, internal customers, and external users.

As one of the nation's largest apparel, cosmetics, and home furnishings retailers, Dillard’s IT department depends on clear, concise documents to keep daily business running smoothly. Clearly written Help documentation keeps end-users from inundating customer service with phone calls, while well-formed proposals are vital for justifying new IT projects and purchases. And developers depend on the IT business analysts to write easy-to-follow instructions in order to successfully complete tasks.

As the IT training manager for Dillard’s, Sarah Gipson ensures that the IT department receives the necessary writing training to achieve these goals and serve the business as a whole. “I did extensive research online before contacting Hurley Write. I spoke with several references that she provided to ensure that the writing course could be geared toward technical writing,” says Gipson.   

Right on target
During the writing course, Pam Hurley, Ph.D., president and founder of Hurley Write, Inc., asked for writing samples from the Dillard’s team. Using these samples, Hurley created a course workbook that provided specific examples of common writing issues, and then worked with the attendees in small groups to edit these examples. This approach provided targeted feedback and allowed attendees to gain hands-on experience identifying and correcting the issues that they were most likely to confront.

“The best thing about the Hurley courses,” says Gipson, “is that she took the time to use examples of our writing that were submitted to her. The individuals who took time to submit samples received the most benefit from the course.”

After working in the small groups to edit the samples, the class reviewed the improved work. “The class and Pam were able to give immediate feedback on the edited version,” Gipson adds.

Do more with less
“The most important thing that I took from the class was to be concise. Extra words can be confusing to the audience,” says Gipson. Clear, tight writing is an important learned skill, one that Hurley Write courses translate into a repeatable process.

When it comes to her IT team, Gipson knows the importance of each individual having confidence in his or her writing. “I will not always be there to support what has been written, so the writing needs to be clear,” she says.   

Gipson also learned the importance of good proofreading and revision. “Just because it is typed, does not mean that it is a final version,” she explains.  

Now, Gipson puts “a lot more thought” into her writing. “I want to make sure that what I have written is what I am trying to convey.” With the technical writing skills gained in the Hurley Write course, she and her team are well on their way.

Are you tasked with writing scientific or technical content that non-technical readers can understand? Hurley Write can show you how. Email or call us toll-free at 877-24-WRITE (877-249-7483).

(If your operating system does not support using a Print button,
simply use your Web browser's "Print" command instead.)

© 2016 Hurley Write, Inc. ( All rights reserved.

Hurley Write, Inc.