Re: Please send alcoholic beverages. . . quickly

Subject: Re: Please send alcoholic beverages. . . quickly
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: Bonita White <bwhite -at- youcentric -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 11:35:11 -0700

Bonita White wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> Some may remember my post from several weeks ago when I was told that
> the end user manual needed a "marketing spin." Well, I'm back.
>
> I have just been told that all documentation must be approved by
> MARKETING. Yes, you read correctly, approved by MARKETING. The new VP
> believes that he can best decide on matters of layout, font and the
> like. He wants to make sure that the manual "conveys the correct
>

> spin." Well, needless to say, I am horrified.
>

So long as the VP has some background in design, his approval of
layout doesn't sound too bad. If his main purpose is to improve
the design or make it consistent with other material from the
company, then you should be able to survive the experience. You
should also be able to defend your choices if you have any
knowledge of design. The danger, of course, is that he simply
wants to make his mark, and change things for the sake of
changing things.

As to ensuring that the manual "conveys the correct spin," this
could down to a matter of making sure that you write (for
example) "This feature is not implemented in the present version
of the software" instead of "This feature was left out because I
work with incompetent engineers." So long as he leaves the
technical content alone, his input shouldn't be important.

Pride in your work is essential, of course. But it's also
important to remember that technical documentation isn't yours in
the same way as a poem or a story or a novel would be. The manual
belongs to the company.

And, if worst comes to worst, you can always take consolation in
the fact that your name isn't actually on the document. :-)

However, if you want a constructive suggestion, maybe you should
lobby for having the technical lead approve the manual as well.
That way, the essentials should at least be preserved.

--
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"'O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?' --
'O didn't you know I'd been ruined?' says she."
-Thomas Hardy, "The Ruined Maid"




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