TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> Why didn't you halt the process when the client did not perform their
> deliverable to you? Surely, even though they approved the outlines, when
> conversations, queries, or drafts didn't match what was wanted from the
> clients' end, someone had to say something--the client, a writer, et al.,
> When reviews are late from the client, that's the time to raise a flag and
> stop the process, investigate what's going on (or what isn't) and do a
> reality check.
Because that would be a crappy thing to do. Just because your client doesn't
instantaneously respond to your every need does not mean you halt the project
to conduct an investigation. That is a waste of time.
Ram the damn project through and quit waiting for approval. You know the
cliche: "it is easier to ask for forgiveness then to be a sniveling little
weasel begging for approval."
When a client is lazy with me, I start hammering them. I show up unnannouced at
a cubicle, send lots of emails, phone calls. Anything to keep the job moving
forward. Stopping work, folding your arms, and having a little tantrum because
your client didn't respond to you is immature and wasteful.
Most companies could care less about the documentation, they just want the damn
thing done. So push on through, get it done, and then tweak it later. It is
totally, inhumanly impossible to get a complex piece of work like a document
100% correct the first time. So, play the odds and just get the damn work done.
You can make it perfect on the next revision.
I've had projects that I totally re-engineered the docs after the first draft
because one nugget of info was changed. Since I wasn't steeped in a bunch of
processes and anus-restrictive methodologies, it was easy to just slam-bam the
whole thing into a new form.
> If I was the client, I'd take responsibility for my part in ignoring the
> process. But from what you're telling us, you're also responsible for not
> tracking more closely what was and wasn't going on. When a client is "vague
> about what was wrong" and reviews come back that aren't detailed, you need
> to address problems at that point, not this late in the process.
Oh feh. 90% of the working population are lazy, indecisive slobs. Especially
captive drones at huge, faceless companies. They don't want to follow a process
or make a decision, they just want to get the job done so they can go home and
have sex. Even the so called "professional ones".
Clients who are vague about what is wrong have nothing better to do but bitch.
If they can't qualify their bitches, then blow on by and move along. Let the
next sucker worry about their indecisiveness.
There is a delicate dance between clients/consultants. You have to be direct,
firm, and assertive because if you aren't the job won't get done. Yeah writing
things down and being explicit is good. But you have to follow that up with
decisiveness and a "get it done" attitude.
Most clients WANT somebody to boss them around a bit and make things happen. If
you're a limp noodle who has to have a group hug every time somebody expresses
displeasure then, sheesh, go get a job on the set of Ally McBeal and get out of