Ideal department

Subject: Ideal department
From: "Teresa Scheuerman" <t_scheuerman -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 15:36:42 PDT


I searched the archives and read the discussion "what department are you in" from December 1999. My situation is a little different as I am not a lone writer. Here is my situation: My sub-department, Education and Documentation consists of 2 technical writers and 1 education development specialist/trainer. We are currently under Client Services which also includes Support and Client Care. In about a month's time, Client Services is merging with Implementation and Consulting Services to form the mega-department Professional Services. Not sure how the education specialist feels, but both writers are pretty sure we don't fit into this scheme. We have never felt Client Services is the right group for us, partly because we sat in the opposite corner from Research and Development and QA, our primary SMEs. We fought and complained and were able to move a quarter turn around the office, but we're still a ways away. Our manager (manager of Client Services) is on maternity leave and in her absence, we have been reporting to the director, R&D. Both writers feel being a part of R&D would be a better place for us because we view documentation as a product, not a service, and we know that 95% of our information comes from R&D. They often forget about us and we think being among them and part of them would improve this situation. The other department that might work are Product Management. Our tasks are end-user documentation including paper-based manuals, online help, release notes, etc. We occasionally edit or proofread for marketing but we don't actually write for marketing. My question is two-fold. 1) If anyone is in a similarly structured company, what is your ideal department? And why? 2) How did/would you convince senior management that changing departments is a good idea. Thanks for your help!

Teresa Scheuerman
Technical Writer
Selkirk Financial Technologies
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