My “fitness training” in technical editing

Quality management as coaching for editors.

© zeremskimilan / Fotolia

© zeremskimilan / Fotolia

Our discipline? Technical editing!

Our trainer? The internal quality management department at kothes.

Things can be pretty bumpy when you first get into technical editing. It is a tough sport, and it can be difficult at first to remember all the rules. The only way to improve is to have regular repetition, regular feedback, and a good trainer. Only once you are passionately involved and view every sore muscle as motivation to improve can you become one of the best in the field. Unfortunately that also means failure for those who ignore the rules or don’t train regularly.

The necessary training at kothes is handled by the internal quality management department. Every document is inspected thoroughly before delivery and revised if mistakes are discovered. Quality standards are rightly high, so quality management could be described as a strict trainer. But this strict intensive training in no way fails in its objective. Quite the oppposite. As a new employee, I wanted to internalise the rules as quickly as possible and become an assured practitioner of editorial sport. I wanted to face up to more challenging opponents soon. I went through a thorough development, from stumbling newbie to serious editorial athlete who knows all the important rules in their sleep.

That means that internal quality inspection is quite the opposite of too strict or even dispensable. Its primary goal may be to generate high-quality documents. But a welcome side-effect is that this feedback unavoidably trains us, the editors. We prefer to avoid mistakes that we have made previously. At work, I increasingly often subconsciously remembered the positive and negative feedback I had received and incorporated it directly into my documentation. I improved and became more assured, made fewer and fewer mistakes, and even my muscles stopped being sore after a while. 

Admittedly, I was a little dejected after my first not-so-positive feedback regarding my first documentation; but that meant I was able to appreciate the considerably more positive feedback I received for later documentation, as I did not make the same mistakes again. Thanks to the reliable work of our quality management, I can now create documentation for our customers that meets both their quality standards and ours.

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