Outsourcing Technical Writing: A Primer


by Barry Saiff

Outsourcing Technical Writing: A Primer provides a roadmap for success in outsourcing technical writing. A step-by-step plan for companies considering outsourcing. The book includes cases studies, a sample outsourcing agreement, and a sample plan. It pays special attention to the management factors that determine success or failure.

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Outsourcing stirs strong emotions. Employees associate it with layoffs, reduced quality, and plummeting morale. Managers often don’t understand the potential, thinking either that it will reduce their costs by large amounts or that it will make them obsolete, too.

The truth is that, when done correctly, outsourcing often does not lead to layoffs, can lead to increased quality, and can even boost morale.

Although the inflated savings that some managers have been led to believe are untrue (outsourcing can rarely, if ever, reduce content development costs by more than 60%), outsourcing can still be a win for both a company and its employees.

Outsourcing Technical Writing: A Primer provides a comprehensive introduction to outsourcing technical writing. Barry Saiff, who has had extensive experience with outsourced content development, provides a roadmap for outsourcing success along with cases studies, a sample outsourcing agreement, and a sample plan. He also connects the success of outsourcing with management excellence and process maturity.


Part I. An Introduction to Outsourcing

Part II. Management Matters

Part III. Your Roadmap to Outsourcing Success

Part IV. Case Studies and Conclusion

About the Author

Barry Saiff is a leading expert in technical writing outsourcing and management. He has experienced outsourcing from both sides: as a technical communication leader in the United States and as a manager of offshore technical writers and customer liaison in the Philippines.

After 26 years developing software documentation for some of the largest US companies, Barry moved to the Philippines to found Saiff Solutions (saiffsolutions.com). Barry has managed writing teams at six different companies, hired dozens of technical communicators, and created new technical writing departments from scratch.

Barry holds a bachelor of arts in anthropology from Princeton and a master of arts in international affairs from American University.


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