From Afterthought to Valued Stakeholder

Presentation Abstract

Too often, technical writing teams are neglected where it comes to resource and budget allocation. Projects get funded, but product documentation is not one of the line items. This only leads to huge problems downstream, as we all know: undocumented features, unhappy Product Managers, severely unhappy customers, and burned out technical writers are just the tip of the iceberg. It is imperative to change this narrative, especially considering the pervasiveness of chatbots and artificial intelligence in our world. Traditional user assistance is transforming into digital assistance, and our contributions to product development are more relevant and important than ever.

At SAP SuccessFactors, we have come from a time where there were zero documentation resources—the software was considered self-explanatory and therefore product documentation would be a wasted investment in the eyes of our product managers—to a world where our growing team of 30+ user assistance professionals is critical to the success of our business. In this session, you will learn how to help your user assistance team gain relevance in your organization. Sam will share how, in five short years, through managing up and strategic networking, her team has significantly grown both in size and in importance. Through her story, you will learn how to demonstrate the value your documentation team brings to the organization so that the days of being in the shadow will be behind you.

What can attendees expect to learn?

Anyone who is passionate about managing teams will benefit from this presentation. Key takeaways from the presentation will include lessons in how to gain importance and stay relevant as a user assistance team, how to manage up to gain resources, and how to grow your user assistance business within the greater organization. Attendees will leave motivated to change the way they run their teams, and they will learn that defeating the odds, no matter how great they may be, is always possible if you put enough energy and passion into it.

Meet the Presenter

Samantha Rudolph is the Senior Director of User Assistance at SAP SuccessFactors. She started as an author at SAP in 2006 and has been a manager of User Assistance since 2010. She is passionate about improving the lives of SAP’s customers by ensuring that our content continues to match and exceed the needs of our audience. In her spare time, she’s a married mom of two incredible daughters and the head coach of a traveling youth softball team.

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