Re: Workflow and management -- How is your department organized

Subject: Re: Workflow and management -- How is your department organized
From: Dianne Blake <write-it -at- home -dot- com>
To: Techwriter <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 11:45:46 -0800

Harry Bacheler wrote:
> Some places the Documentation Department (Technical Writers) is a
> separate entity under the (VP/Director) of Marketing or the
> (VP/Director) of Engineering.

I agree with Harry, and in most cases, even when I contract my services,
I find this arrangement to be the best. The company I'm currently
contracting with right now is also having me write their Document
Management and Version Control processes. This has been a good
opportunity to specify what the rules are for input into the process and
what the expectations are of the product coming out of the process.

For instance, I have the owner of whatever process that wants me to do
writing, fill out a simple form that states what their objectives are,
and who their audience is. This is the first step of a needs analysis.
I think it is important to get their input as to why a new document
should be written and to whom it should be written.

All documents go through research and development, and then at the end
the process owner and the clients who will receive the document sign a
release document that says the document is done (and is now ready for
the revision cycle).

It may take a little more time, but this way projects get queued up and
project plans can be written (or at least scheduled as a couple of
entries on someone's Microsoft Project plan). The client's expectations
can only be met if we know what those expectations are.

- Dianne Blake
write-it -at- home -dot- com
* Successful Communications Through Planning *

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