Re: Ideal department

Subject: Re: Ideal department
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 23:43:08 -0700 (PDT)

"Teresa Scheuerman" wrote ...
> Hello,

Oh here it comes...

> 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!

Sheesh - everybody knows that Client Services should be a sub-unit of
Researching Development and the Service Quality Team relates in a tangential
consumptive gort with Injurious Legal Client Mack-Daddy Affairs. The Technical
Services Desk Crack Crud Clearing Team should reform their mission statement to
include all the qualities of the Executive Development Product Investigation
department which will answer exclusively to the Marketing Sector Communications
Divisions inside the Regional Departmental Logistics Hive. Then you move your
clothes to the lower rung, write your letter home, unless your getting your
haircut, then you move your brother's clothes to the lower rung, write your
letter home, and have your cheeks examined.


Corporate organizational theory is right up there with Dion Warwick (the woman
who does all those phone-in psychic infomercials) in the legitimacy department.
Who cares. Just do you job and ignore the structure. In 10 years (hell, in 1
year) nobody will know nor care who is in what department.

Organizational lines are a mechanism for small-minded people to have control.
You know why dogs pee on things? Well, humans do the same thing, we just use
org-charts instead of urine.

So unless you want the wrong end of the dog to kiss, just do your job and don't
sweat the organization. Talk to the people you need to talk with and send
reports to those that bark the loudest. If you let this petty crap get to you,
you'll never accomplish anything.

Andrew Plato

Providing countless hours of self-absorption at rock-bottom prices:

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