RE: Organizational structure - where does Doc sit?

Subject: RE: Organizational structure - where does Doc sit?
From: Dannette Thompson <dthomps -at- foundationsoft -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 13:24:13 -0400

Hi all,
This thread is really interesting to me to, as we've recently faced a lot of
controversy about similar issues. However, I think my situation is a little
different than most of the posters'.

I work for one of those "modern, relaxed" software development companies. I
get to wear jeans every day, come in pretty much whenever I want -- and I
have no written job description. Because I came from much more formal
environments, this has all been a big learning experience for me. I've hated
not having a written job description, but mgmt. feels that it's too stifling
and takes away from a "team" approach. I guess that, in some ways, they do
have a point.

Because we're all part of one big team, my department -- the Education
Department -- is loosely tied to everyone we need to have interaction with.
(Note: My dept. is made up of me and two part-timers who work from home.) We
are in charge of all end-user docs and training programs, as well as
training all in-house non-engineer staff. (That means we train marketing,
sales and customer support.) In effect, we need interaction with almost
every dept. I don't know how we'd ever be classified under any single one of
those depts. Instead, we're separate but work very closely with all of them.

I've come to see my role as a "buffer" between upstairs and downstairs.
Upstairs houses all of the Engineers and the QA people; downstairs houses
everyone else. I'm downstairs so that support doesn't go running to R&D
every time they find a problem, reporting it as a bug. But I'm always
welcomed upstairs to ask questions and report problems. The upstairs folks
know I shield them from a lot of wasted time dealing with support, so they
have a lot of respect for me and that has made my job immensely easier.

As far as working with training issues, as the original poster asked, we
create the training programs, develop materials and define methodologies --
and then we hand all of that over to the Customer Support Dept. The Support
Manager is then in charge of making sure that Support Reps are following
through. Again -- a very close tie but technically defined as separate

Hope this was informative (and at least somewhat lucid -- I just spent four
hours giving a test to Support Reps. uuuggghhhh).


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