Meet Robbie Shakeshaft, an expert for product information at Sigma Technology. Today Robbie will share his thoughts about new streams in product information and the main challenges he faces working on his assignment. Robbie Shakeshaft is an expert on the tools and processes we use to produce the Customer Product Information (CPI) libraries and run a CPI library builder group. He is also very interested in film and media and has filmed and produced the last releases of the “Information talks” videos.
Tell us about your assignment? What are your areas of responsibility?
I am currently working as a building coordinator in the Ericsson Packet Core project. I am also driving the migration of our product information to the CPI Automation Portal and acting as IT responsible for the broader Ericsson projects.
What is your main challenge during the work, and what is the most fascinating in your project?
The main challenge is constantly troubleshooting and optimizing our ways of working while delivering our libraries on time and up to the required standard. It is also the thing I personally like the most, the ever-changing processes and having to adapt in real-time to new challenges. It provides non-stop opportunities to innovate and do things in new ways.
What kind of companies are the most dependent on their product information and how it is exposed to end-users?
In my opinion, I’d guess it’s software developers working in an environment with frequent software deliveries and patches. The product information is one of the best sources of information on changes. There are the more traditional methods of product information delivery such as web-based help pages, or bespoke information portals, or the very trendy ‘docs-as-code.’ Or my personal favorite: seamless information integration, such as AWS’s highly praised cloud interface, where the product information is provided directly to the end-user as part of the GUI. I’m also interested in how digital assistants are shaping the future of product information: “Hey Alexa, how do I add a new smart bulb?”.
What would you recommend to companies wishing to improve product information?
I genuinely believe in the approach advocated by the agile manifesto that developers should develop. Outsourcing the task of writing your product information frees up your talented staff to do what you hired them to do.
What skills and personal traits should a professional product information engineer have?
COMMUNICATION! I can’t stress this one enough. You could be the most talented writer in the world, but unless you can communicate with your stakeholders, you can’t produce helpful product information.