October 4, 2016

Event report

How do standards and legislation impact your technical documentation?

Holger Thater, Per Harbo Sørensen and Dorte Breitenstein Kristensen

It is crucial for technical communicators to be familiar with the relevant directives, legislation, or national or international standards to produce technical documentation at a high level of quality and at the same time complying with legal requirements. At this event experts in this area showed how standards and legislation impact technical documentation and provided the necessary overview.

Event sponsor: SimCorp A/S (www.simcorp.com)

The event took place on Tuesday, 4 October, 2016 at SimCorp A/S in Copenhagen.

See the full agende here: Link to agenda

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Opening remarks

Dr. Mark Henoch
Senior Vice President, SimCorp A/S

Dr. Mark Henoch opened the event with a warm welcome and a short introduction to SimCorp A/S.

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Presentation 1: European legislation and product safety

Dr. Claudia Klumpp
Lawyer, Standards, tekom Germany

LINK TO PRESENTATION

There are more than 20 European directives as well as innumerable standards on the international level regarding products and product safety. Why this flood of regulations? Actually, these EU regulations are the cradle of technical communication. And actually, they are really helpful, provided that you have the necessary overview. This presentation offered this important overview. People became acquainted with the most important directives and how to figure out which are applicable for their product and its documentation. They learned what harmonized European standards are, how to recognize them and what legal effect they have compared with standards that have not been harmonized. This presentation took the audience on a journey from the new approach (CE marking) to the new legislative framework, the alignment package (eight new directives to be implemented into national law by April 20, 2016) and its implications for technical documentation. Furthermore, this presentation explained not only the basics of CE marking, but also European market surveillance, especially the EU rapid alert system RAPEX. It facilitates the rapid exchange of information between Member States and the Commission on measures taken to prevent or restrict the marketing or use of products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers. Finally, the audience was informed about the future plans of the EU concerning product safety, the machinery directive and technical documentation in general.

Bio

Claudia Klumpp studied law and business administration. In 2009 she received her PhD in law. She worked several years as attorney at law and legal consultant before she became part of tekom and the world of technical communication. Claudia Klumpp is in charge of the standardization work of tekom. She brings tekom experts from all over Europe at one table to discuss standards (how they can be amended) and represents tekom in the international standardization bodies, both ISO and IEC.


Dr. Claudia Klumpp

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Presentation 2: How to create value from eDok and IEC 82079-1

Roland Schmeling
Managing director, Schmeling + Consultants GmbH

LINK TO PRESENTATION

Facing the increasing need of electronic documentation, both the tekom project eDok and the international standard IEC 82079-1 provide valuable guidance. eDok argues with the usability of electronic documentation compared to printed documentation, and with the risks of the specific media with respect to the availability of information. IEC 82079-1 however describes general and internationally agreed requirements on information and processes for both, printed and electronic documentation. The lecture gave background information and assistance on how to use eDok and IEC 82079-1 together for argumentation and practical work and provided selected relevant prospect for the upcoming essential revision of the international standard.

Bio

Roland Schmeling is senior consultant and managing director of Schmeling + Consultants GmbH (Ltd.) (www.schmeling-consultants.de) which he founded in 2007 together with Prof. Robert Schäflein-Armbruster, one of the founders of the Funktionsdesign information structuring method. Since 1999 he advises industrial enterprises on technical documentation with focus on standardization, structuring, usability, and information management. Roland studied physics and philosophy of language. He is an expert and process auditor for technical documentation at TÜV SÜD. Since 2004 he gives lectures on quality assurance at the Hochschule Furtwangen University (HFU). Roland is member of the standards board of tekom and works together with tekom on the eDok guideline. He is member of the international IEC working group maintaining and developing the IEC 82079 series.

 

Roland Schmeling

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Presentation 3: Practical implications of IEC 82079

Jens-Uwe Heuer-James
Lawyer, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

LINK TO PRESENTATION

The technical standard IEC 82079 describes state of the art in technical writing and becomes more and more important for technical writers. The statement included a brief overview about the structure and content of IEC 82079. Mr. Heuer-James also described the background of the project "drafting the IEC 82079" which actually has started as a modification of the former ISO 62079. In addition he gave a statement from the legal point of view about the implications of the IEC 82079 within the legal framework of product liability law, product safety law and contract law. The statement was finalized by an overview about further activities dealing with this standard in particular with regards to the practice of market surveillance and the discussion about amendments and a complete review of IEC 82079.

Bio

Jens-Uwe Heuer-James was born in 1967. He studied law in Hanover, Germany, was admitted to the German Bar in 1996 and has been allowed to appear before the Higher Regional Court since 2001. He worked for a leading law firm in Hanover. In addition to working as a lawyer, he has published numerous articles, such as "Product Liability and Product Safety" and "The New Product Safety Act". Jens-Uwe Heuer-James joined the commercial department of Lawyer Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH as a partner in December 2011. Jens-Uwe Heuer-James advises on all issues pertaining to commercial law. He specializes in drafting and negotiating complex contracts, such as plant engineering agreements, as well as claim management. Another focus of his work is advising on product liability and product safety, particularly on special topics such as CE conformity evaluation and technical documentation. His clients are final manufacturers and suppliers from the engineering and electrical engineering sectors, and the consumer goods sector.

 

Jens-Uwe Heuer-James

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Presentation 4: Implementing the ISO/IEC 26515 standard for agile software documentation

Kai Weber
Lead Technical Writer, SimCorp A/S

LINK TO PRESENTATION

Many software companies struggle to get agile software documentation "right" - yet few are aware of how the ISO/IEC standard 26515 for “Developing user documentation in an agile environment” can help them. Kai Weber reported “from the trenches” of working on a standard and with it: He has contributed to the revision of the ISO/IEC 26515 standard, while his employer introduces an agile framework in its software development unit. His presentation covered:

  1. The current scope and contents of ISO/IEC 26515
  2. Implementing ISO/IEC 26515: When a standard hits reality…
  3. Trends and directions during the revision process

Attendees learned:

  • How ISO/IEC 26515 can help them and their companies
  • Where such a standard for software documentation has its limits

 

Bio

Kai Weber is Lead Technical Writer at SimCorp. He has been designing, implementing, and coaching technical communication architectures, strategies and processes since 1999. Kai also supports tekom as an examiner of the TCTrainNet certification program and as a member of the tcworld conference board.

Kai Weber