In this edition of Indus, we speak to one of the finest minds in the field of technical communication. We sit up with Pratima Rajeev, Information Development and User Centered Design Department Head, Huawei Technologies Pvt Ltd. Frank and opinionated Pratima believes in Values-based leadership and for a strong team foundation these values, such as humbleness, simplicity, togetherness and enthusiasm are extremely important.
Give us a quick sneak into your day-to-day corporate routine as Documentation Department Head in your organization.
I am overall incharge of Information development and UCD(User Centered Design) Projects and manage all the products(S)/Platforms(S)/ Projects Information development and User Centered Design in the business line and responsible for schedule and quality of the same. We deliver secondary user and end-user documentation for platforms spread across technologies as varied as Voice protocols, Application servers, Databases and so on.
I invest good amount of my time in managing customer needs for our info deliverables and its customer satisfaction. Customer management is the most important part of my daily corporate life. Rest of my time goes in managing project essential resources (H/w, software, and human resources), communicating with product lines, participating in decision making in the business management meetings, and providing resolution to resolve issues w.r.t Information Deliverables.
I need to keep some time for Risk management, Competency building, E2E Delivery capability improvement in team, Identification and deployment of new info engineering tools required within the team, People Management, Knowledge Sharing and Doc Quality Control and Assurance.
I also manage Knowledge Management and internal Communication responsibilities in my Business Unit.
You have been working in the same organization for more than Nine years. What has kept you motivated here?
It has been an interesting journey and fulfilling experience these past nine years, witnessing our growth in an appreciable and controlled manner with an enhanced portfolio. My role requires a bit of both, leading and following, in order to interpret my company’s strategy for our Indian operations and translate them into everyday practice.
The reason of my motivation here is the core values of my organization like Customer Consciousness, Innovation, Openness, Continuous improvement, Dedication, and Team work culture that helped me and my team to add more and more value to the organization every year. I love working with other dedicated and talented individuals who are inspiring and helpful and I would like to give full credit to my team and my peers for making my experience a great learning and fun here. Here every information developer gets a freedom of innovation, opportunity for growth, and promise of a close-nit community.
What innovation are you presenting for the future ahead in terms of documentation?
My focus is always on building a competent team that has excellent information development and user centric design expertise for secondary user development and end-users. We have invested good efforts to provide higher quality of info deliverables year on year. Currently we are focussing on many trends like Dynamic Content Publishing and easy and quick Search of the desired content in the documents.
We are also working on promoting the use of in-house single-sourcing tools and developing the capability to build automatic information deliverables.
Currently we are working on automatic information assistance to support our users by building some intelligent systems. We have implemented Documentation Continuous integration for automatic validation, better version control, and automated sample code integration in the past.
We have also deployed lean and agile documentation as required by customers and reduced effort in non-essential documentation. Also, my expert info architects have developed many automation tools w.r.t Code snippet replacement, Automatic formatting, and search tools to enhance efficiency and reduce manual efforts.
How do you ensure as a manager a right balance is maintained between ‘empowerment of women’ and men in your team?
Firstly, I believe that today’s women are already empowered and they don’t need any special treatment. In my team, for me all are professionals and they are being inducted or hired in my team based on their merit and competency. Currently, there is a good balance of women and men and they always help each other incase of emergency or support needed.
Secondly, I believe in people and recognize their talents, regardless of gender. Diversity opens new perspectives, creativity and innovation in the team and these are essential ingredients for a successful high performance team. In my opinion, men and women equally lead our business and it is essential for our future growth and for being a great place to work. Through systematic competence development, I like to develop all of my co-workers, and ensure that all my co-workers get the same opportunities for development. Having enough diverse and competent successors for the future will secure the future success of my department.
Thirdly, I strongly believe in Values-based leadership and for a strong team foundation these values, such as humbleness, simplicity, togetherness and enthusiasm are extremely important.
What do you enjoy the most- writing or managing a doc team?
I have enjoyed every role, which I played in my career from Software developer to technical writer and then to a Technical Documentation Department Head. I like the combination of writing and technology and it combines my both interests in seamless manner. My efforts are always towards how to increase customer satisfaction by providing information solution that excel in quality and how to add more and more value in my organization’s value chain.
We need to be change drivers whatever role we play. I had wore each of these hats to great degree. As a writer, I need to enable customers through effective and innovative information solutions that help customers save money or generate more value and reduce waste. As a Doc manager, I drive efficiency throughout in our value chain and take a lead in creating a better user experience through our documentation or usability deliverables and extending our code of conduct throughout our value chain.
As a doc manager, I am very fond of my documentation team and appreciate working close with clear framework and clear goals and I leave room for freedom. I am enthusiastic but I try not to poke my nose into other people’s areas of responsibility. Delegating and relying on others by giving them responsibilities is part of my our culture. It is essential for our growth to develop our business through our people.
What are the learning’s Information Developers should take from some of the successful companies?
In my opinion, the driving factors behind most of the successful companies are their innovative practices, focus on their design and continuous efforts for higher user experiences with rich user engagement. My two cents for our intelligent and capable information community are:
First driving factor, which I have seen in some of the successful companies are their “apps”. Apps are an excellent way to utilize an open technology platform to generate a market standing. So for information developers, as apps are order of the day we can think of providing App documentation and leverage on these open technologies in an innovative manner.
Second driving factor, which I have observed, is their focus on design. Their design not only focuses on how a product looks and feels but how it works. They deliver good quality product with great user experiences. This is exactly every Information developer and Usability Expert needs to adopt in their approach and have this mindset to excel.
And finally, what are the Skills and Capabilities an Information Development Expert should have ?
Information Development Experts are those who have good depth and breath in a particular subject of Technical communication through extensive “experience” and “education” and they keep ensuring higher and higher skill level through continuous improvement. It is not possible for one person to be expert in everything. So to be recognized an Information Development Expert, one should select few areas based on strengths, and then through practice, education, and continuous improvement work on these skills. The Information design created by Expert is generally simple, implementable, and scalable. An Information Expert should be capable to contribute to organizational knowledge on a regular basis with a right mindset of raising the bar and helping the Information Development Community to reach to higher standards in an organizational value chain.
I am greatly inspired by these lines of Dr. Abdul Kalam
“All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds. Problems are common, but attitude makes the difference!!!” – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
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