RE: Summary of Responses: Whirlers and Environments (Long)

Subject: RE: Summary of Responses: Whirlers and Environments (Long)
From: "krupp, marguerite" <krupp_marguerite -at- emc -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 09:42:09 -0500

Jane Bergen wrote:
>My experience has been the opposite from Marguerite's. Larger
>companies (50 people is not really a large least not in
>Dallas, Texas) have more structure and things are much LESS likely to
>"go through the cracks."

And I reply:

Right. I've worked for some megacompanies (as well as for startups), and, of
necessity the successful bigger ones have solid procedures throughout,
including the tech writing groups.

My point is that at around 50-100 people, the company has started to reach
its adolescence. They're not a large company yet, but the're getting there.
If they continue to act like a "small startup," they'll soon be experiencing
those adolescent crises. And that's when communications and procedural
problems start happening. If they are really smart, they'll start putting
mechanisms in place then to make sure that everything gets taken care of.
But that's not often the case.

Some companies feel that throwing company-wide parties, Friday beer bashes,
and "feel-good" events facilitates this communication without having to have
those "restrictive" procedures in place. WRONG! I'm not a big procedures
person, but I've seen the balkanization that can happen if there isn't at
least something in place to make sure that people communicate about their
interdependencies at work. You don't need an ISO 9000-style structure, but
good project teams do help.

I still think the most effective way to get --and give-- information is to
establish 1-on-1 working relationships with people, but it sure helps if you
have some management support for this.

Anyway, this is a long-winded saying that I fundamentally agree with Jane's


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