March 2, 2016

tcworld India 2016 in Bangalore

High Interest in the tekom Competence Framework

Daniela Straub

At the sixth tcworld India conference in Bangalore last week, I had the opportunity, together with Prof. Sissi Closs, to give a presentation on the new tekom Competence Framework. Interest was very high: Right from the beginning, an interesting discussion started about necessary competencies for technical writers in India.

Although there were four tracks running in parallel at tcworld India, over 50 people joined the presentation. In the earlier presentation, Mr. Sengupta had presented the benefits of the Kanban for organizing technical writing processes. Activities were systemized according to whether they were “to do”, in process (“doing”) or “done”. Our presentation dovetailed perfectly with this. To the crucial questions “what has to be done?” and “what knowledge, skills, and competencies are necessary for the ‘doing’?” the tekom Competence Framework can provide answers.

Profiling Tool of the tekom Competence Framework

In addition, we demonstrated the profiling tool of the tekom Competence Framework. This was highly appreciated, as it will support the definition of which tasks are allocated to a job profile. This is important in India, where people often work for big companies, and tasks are allocated to different people with specialized job roles, such as associate technical writer, junior technical writer, senior technical writer, documentation manager, quality assurance specialist, and so on. And these differ not only in the years of experience necessary in technical writing. They are also assigned different tasks, each requiring different skills, knowledge and levels of competencies. There, the profiling tool of the tekom Competence Framework will also prove very valuable in defining tasks, and thus, to which job profile they are allocated.

The audience asked a lot of questions, provided examples and explained the situation in their company. Beyond the uses described above, the tekom Competence Framework can be used for several other purposes. For example, it helped tekom derive the learning contents for the TCTrainNet, which offers training and certification for technical writers. The content is updated according to the requirements of the tekom Competence Framework. It provides technical writers online training on entry and advanced levels and can also be used as a preparation course for the international tekom certification.

Presentation of the Profiling Tool at Other Conferences

The profiling tool for the tekom Competence Framework will also be presented during the next international conferences:

•    COMTecnica in Bologna, May 11-12, 2016
•    NORDIC TechKomm in Copenhagen, May 24-25, 2016
•    ETC - Evolution of Technical Communication in Sofia, June 2-3, 2016
•    Information Energy in Utrecht, June 8-9, 2016

As a next step, tekom is developing an EU-funded Erasmus project, “TecComFrame”, a competence framework specially designed for academic requirements. Curricula for studies and training measures on bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including specialization courses for engineering studies and translation studies, will be provided by the project.