Technical Communication Manager


Saul Carliner


Online Courses

Technical Communication Manager

7 March through 11 April 2023 (Tuesdays) 10:30 AM to 12 Noon ET (GMT-5; GMT- 4 as of 12 March )

Registration for this course closes 3 March 2023 at 5:00 PM ET

Effectively managing a technical communication group involves a unique set of skills: clearly communicating expectations regarding jobs, effectively evaluating performance, establishing a vision for your group, making a business case for proposed projects, and selling the services of your group.

This course develops these skills through a combination of discovery exercises (which leverage your existing knowledge), formal presentations (which describe the “must knows”) and action planning segments, which give you a chance to consider how you’ll apply what you learned back on the job.

You’ll Learn How to:

  • Manage the performance planning and evaluation process, in which you plan for and communicate your expectations regarding specific jobs and evaluate the extent to which workers have achieved them.
  • Motivate your workers.
  • Develop a strategic plan for your group.
  • Prepare a business case for proposed projects.
  • Market services to skeptical internal “customers” (or sponsors).

Intended audiences:

  • Technical communicators who have management responsibilities in their jobs.
  • Technical communicators who are preparing for leadership roles in their organizations as managers, content strategists, project managers, or similar roles with high visibility.

Relevance to STC members: Develops the core skills needed in the leadership positions that technical communicators assume—and does so in a way that’s unique to technical communicators (not other professions).

For current CPTC certificants: This course  provides 6 CEUs for recertification, in the Project Planning, Project Analysis, and/or Production Delivery core compentency areas.

Session Descriptions

-Writing Job Descriptions, Hiring and Establishing a Performance Plan

We will be using interactive exercises, mini-case studies, readings (performed between the first and second sessions), and online presentations, explains how to establish clear expectations with workers by first clarifying your own expectations regarding a particular position, conducting an effective job search, and writing an effective performance plan.

-Coaching and Evaluating Performance, and Providing Career Guidance

Completes the unit on effective performance.  Once again, using interactive exercises, mini-case studies, readings (performed between class sessions), and online presentations, explains how to provide interim coaching on performance, prepare and present a performance appraisal, and advise workers on career-related issues.

Through an interactive discussion and debriefing based on a case study and readings prepared before class, this session explores the role of a strategic plan in the long-term health of a technical communication group, and explains how to prepare one.

After distinguishing a business case from strategic plans and other planning processes, this session describes the four parts of a strategic plan and how to prepare each.  Readings about business cases and of a sample business case before class prepare participants for this discussion.

Continuing the conversation from the previous session, this session concludes the exploration of how to prepare a business case. In this session, the discussion of the four parts of a business case continues, along with a discussion of Return-on-Investment, and the debriefing of an assignment in which participants prepare a business case.

After debriefing a pre-class assignment, this session explains the role of marketing for internal technical communication groups, presents some general strategies for marketing, and suggests a number of specific tactics for promoting a technical communication group.


Saul Carliner, PhD, CTDP is author of the best-selling and award-winning instructional design texts Training Design Basics (second edition due out at the time of the course), Advanced Web-Based Training (with Margaret Driscoll), and the e-Learning Handbook (with Patti Shank).  He is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Provost’s Fellow for Digital Learning at Concordia University in Montreal. Also an industry consultant, his clients include AT&T, Lowe’s, PwC, ST Microelectronics, Turkish Management Centre, and several US and Canadian government agencies.  He is editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Research Director for Training magazine, Chair of the Certification Advisory Board for the Canadian Society for Training and Development, and a Fellow and past international president of STC.

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