Collaboration is all about how we work (and maybe play) with others. First, how do we know what collaboration is? Then, how do we acquire the skills we need to successfully collaborate?

Technical communicators collaborate in several ways: in the office; in our STC chapters,  SIGs, committees, and at the Summit; across borders; across professional organizations; virtually.

Working in teams

Everyone is part of a team, but the kinds of teams are numerous and varied. This section defines the kinds of teams technical communicators might encounter, how to work effectively in a team, and the technologies that are available to our teams to enable collaboration.

Working in cross-disciplinary contexts

Collaboration involves working together both with other technical communicators and with people outside of our area of expertise. How can we interact with other technical communicators? How well do we work with cultures different than our own? Do we work at all with our subject matter experts (SMEs).

Communities of practice

Organizational expert Etienne Wenger defines communities of practice as “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” STC, itself a community of practice, contains many other communities of practice. Moreover, one function of the technical communicator is to support the development of communities of practice among the people who use our information to get their work done. Information in this section deals with how we communicate, how we build relationships, and how we help others build their own communities of practice.

Collaboration skills

This section explores the skills you should have when you collaborate. It explores some of the necessary people skills as well as how to collaborate with people who have a different skill set than technical communicators.