It was that time of year again. On 4 October, we organised our yearly Flow event on technical writing but this time we decided to try something new. Instead of giving demonstrations and workshops at our office in Ghent, we visited Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to help them optimize their technical documentation and communication.
Technical writing for a good cause
Flow organises a yearly event with presentations and workshops in which we offer our clients a look behind the scenes. In the past, our guests have participated in workshops on anything from structured writing to how to choose a CMS. While it was a success each year, we believed it was time to broaden our horizons, step out of our comfort zone a little and help a good cause. After sticking our heads together and going over our options, we chose MSF.
Doctors Without Borders
Since its founding in 1971, the humanitarian organisation has been working on an international level to provide aid to victims of conflicts and disasters. Everyone who wears the T-shirt with the MSF logo spreads the values at the core of the organisation: neutrality, independence and above all an unshakable dedication to aiding those in need.
Six teams, six challenges
MSF enthusiastically responded to our proposal to have all of our colleagues at their disposal for a full day. During the initial meeting, MSF collected 6 hurdles they were facing in their documentation and communication and, in turn, Flow created 6 teams to brainstorm with MSF experts and meet the challenges head on. The assignments covered subjects ranging from drafting a workflow for accepting internal graphical projects, to designing the intranet homepage and a guide for mobile operation rooms.
On 4 October, we all arrived in the Rue de l’Arbre Bénit in Brussels. We got acquainted with our colleagues-for-a-day and the challenges we would be tackling that day. In the morning, each team drafted the initial tasks for their assignment and took the first steps towards a solution. In the afternoon, they further developed that solution and we all ended the day with a presentation of our progress. Some projects were too broad to complete in one day, but each team delivered a concrete solution that MSF could further deploy and improve.