CDTA – Learning

Clarity Helps Transportation Company Get Documentation on Track

Challenge
New York State’s Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) provides bus service throughout upstate New York and transports 15 million passengers a year.

CDTA needed a revised, updated, and edited installation manual for its information technology (IT) office to help manage the software used to track and manage its vehicles. The project goals were:

• Capture knowledge that was in danger of being lost.
• Prepare an up-to-date document that would ensure continuity of procedures and support training new staff.
• Streamline key organizational learning into a cohesive and readable learning tool with an introduction, table of contents, and all the procedures required for CDTA network administrators.

The new manual would be on 400—500 CDTA workstations with 200 users. The manual needed to be completed within five weeks, which included the Christmas holiday.

Opportunity
The Clarity consultant assigned to the project had more than 13 years of experience as a technical writer of functional specifications, product requirements, user guides, quick reference guides, and installation guides. His clients were from high tech, shipping, and finance.

The writer spent the first week onsite gathering information. He quickly familiarized himself with the project and honed in on the relevant information he needed to collect. He built relationships with key people in the IT department to ensure a smooth process.

The writer worked remotely for the remainder of the project. He established a workflow and communicated with CDTA two or three times a week, ensuring a minimal impact on CDTA operations while verifying that the work was on track, even over the holiday break. All key benchmarks and milestones were achieved.

Results
CDTA’s new manual helped ensure that the organization would retain the knowledge needed to uphold its mission in a medium that was easy to use, useful to a range of learners, and scalable to serve any number of readers. Information that had previously been available only to certain departments or individuals became accessible to the entire organization as a learning asset.

Clarity enabled the client to:
• Standardize its IT procedures into a cohesive operations manual.
• Retain important organizational knowledge.
• Better serve its customers with efficient and reliable bus service.

Breakouts:
“It was a fast, brief assignment. They were looking to consolidate information that was scattered in several places and also substantially in people’s heads.”

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