Technical Documentation Made to be Used


Oil & Gas


Vertically Integrated Energy Company

Not Made to Sit on a Shelf

Innovatia’s approach to solving documentation problems is characterized by strategic planning, proven methodology, collaborative stakeholder engagement, and a constant focus on the end user’s experience. The value of this tried and true approach to solving documentation challenges was on display during a recent project with an industry-leading sustainable energy company.

The organization had been working on a Maintenance & Reliability (M&R) Standard for over 2 ½ years. The development process had been difficult, including weekly team meetings with 8 senior engineers often lasting 4 hours. The standard was 300 pages with a mix of content that was impractical for day-to-day use, inefficient to manage, and, in some instances, unsafe. Based on the Gunning-Fog readability test, employees needed 25+ years of education to understand the content on first read.

Needless to say, the project was not going well and the final output was turning into something that was not going to add value to the company’s operations. The first order of business was to define the scope, goals, and measurements of performance by which the standard would be evaluated. Next, a content audit was completed. This identified over 10,000 similar pieces of content. Using industry-leading methodologies and patented technology, this set of 10,000+ pieces of content was reduced to approximately 1,000 manageable statements and catalogued in a content library.

Relying on an experienced project manager, industry best practices, and seasoned technical writers, the outcomes of the project were remarkable. User understanding of the content was improved while maintaining or improving its integrity and operational effectiveness. The Gunning-Fog index was reduced from 25+ to between 8 and 10 and total volume of content was reduced from 300+ pages to 45 pages.

To leverage this work into the future, the project established a standardized format for content assets across divisions and increased the level of language consistency. Key performance indicators were established to align with the corporate standard by which the document’s effectiveness could be measured.

During the project, gaps in related processes were identified and process improvement initiatives put in place under the company’s existing operational excellence initiatives.

Although all information challenges are truly unique, applying proven methodology and a standard approach to evaluating the problem ensures that a solution is designed to meet the needs of the end user. These documents could be operator manuals, procedures, training guides, or a multitude of other documents.

Since this initial engagement Innovatia has continued working as this client’s trusted information partner. By leveraging the initial work, dozens of documents, manuals, and training courses have been created. Not only are the Maintenance & Reliability documents positioned for effective utilization into the future but all information-related initiatives can begin from the foundation built by this project.

This is the value of working with experienced knowledge management professionals. By looking strategically into the future, seemingly one off initiatives can be leveraged to improve all documentation into the future.

Whether you’re part of a project that is not headed in the right direction or you want to get it done right the first time, give Innovatia a call.

Quick Facts


  • Maintenance & Reliability Standard had overwhelming amount of content
  • Ballooning creation and management costs
  • Project seemed never ending
  • Safety and operational concerns due to complexity of standard


  • Focus on end user experience and making the content use as effortless as possible
  • Standardize and reuse content where possible
  • 10,000+ unique statements to ~1,000 while maintaining or improving effectiveness
  • Increase in consistency
  • Gated development approach governed by professional project manager; Only draw on resources when optimal to do so

Business Benefits:

  • Increased safety and operational efficiency by improving readability and usability while maintaining operational know-how
  • Reduced content management costs by decreasing the length of the M&R standard from 300 to 45 pages (85% reduction)
  • Process Improvements Initiated: the project exposed gaps in the client’s processes and these were incorporated into existing operation excellence program
  • Minimized involvement of high cost resources
  • Closed the project on time and on budget
  • Established a framework for future proofing documentation going forward

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Founded in 1999 and with offices across North America and globally, Innovatia’s 650 professionals deliver top quality solutions to their clients. Innovatia delivers knowledge management services in three areas including Learning Solutions, Documentation, and Technical Support. These solutions span the entire solution set from custom design and development through to delivery and support bringing the latest innovations in Knowledge Management to their clients.