Re: Ideal department

Subject: Re: Ideal department
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 18:59:36 -0700 (PDT)

Teresa Scheuerman, <t_scheuerman -at- hotmail -dot- com>, thinks she works for the wrong
department. She wants to see the Technical Writing moved to IT from the
Marketing arm of the company. However management doesn't seem interested.
Further, she would like to know what is the best place to put the TWs and how
to sell a move to upper management.

I'm wondering if you've talked to the IT manager you are currently reporting
to. What does this manager think of your work? How would this manager react to
the prospect of acquiring your services? It couldn't hurt to sound the manager
out informally.

You seemed to suggest that the SMEs don't include you or think of the writers
during a project, and you put this off to your not being in the same
department. How do they treat you when you are around sniffing for information
or answers to questions? Are they helpful or not? If they are hostile and/or
resentful, you'll want to overcome that problem before trying to move into
their turf.

I don't think there is a necessarily "right" department to put a TW group in.
You say that you see your documentation as a product rather than as a service.
Good for you! But how does management see it? Again, it sounds like they see
things differently and are, if anything, moving you further away from the SMEs,

If I wanted to attempt to change my upper management's thinking on something
like which department should TWs be in and why, I would make a business case.
How much money can you make for me with this move? Particularly, what will it
cost? What will it yield? In short, why do I want to change something that I
might not think needs changing?

If you think that is too much work, then you're admitting that the politics
aren't worth the fight. I've seen that situation, too. In that case, you can't
change management's mind no matter how strong your case. In which case, I would
start looking for a new employer now and save myself a lot of frustration.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com

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