Writing on a Cross-Department team

Subject: Writing on a Cross-Department team
From: Paul Hanson <PHanson -at- Quintrex -dot- com>
To: "'Tech Writers List'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 11:50:14 -0500

I just completed an exhaustive two days here. I was called into a
meeting by the VP of Internal Operations to be a member of a team that
was assigned the task of creating two documents: one, a Marketing sheet
and two, a two page white paper. We were called into the meeting on
Tuesday at 3:30 and I submitted it to the VP yesterday.

What I wanted to share was the value of working on a cross-department
team. There were four of us: the manager of our Training and
Installation department, a Senior System Designer, a trainer with
experience in the industry and myself. I took the lead and began writing
the Marketing sheet at 7:30 AM on Wednesday. I worked my way through 3
drafts before the four of us met at 10:00. We hacked my draft apart,
literally, with all four of us praising and making suggestions. It
wasn't about that I was on the team because of my writing skills.
Although I took ownership of the document and typed them up, there was a
positive change of ideas.

I had a real warm fuzzy feeling about this experience. I was surprised
that a team member who I thought wouldn't contribute ideas, contributed.
If you are asked to be on a cross-department team, keep your ears open.
You may pick up some ideas that you can bring back to your 'normal'

How did we do? The VP called it an 'excellent' document and also said
that the company 'needs more of this. It's a template for going
forward.' <patting myself on the back and accepting cyber-pats>

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