Re: Implementing a single source management system painlessly

Subject: Re: Implementing a single source management system painlessly
From: Bill Swallow <bill_swallow -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 08:24:44 -0800 (PST)

> Does your boss write? All good
> tech-pubs managers should be active writers on their
> team.

I have to disagree here. All good tech-pubs managers
should HAVE BEEN writers on their team. There's a
reason you have a manager and also have writers. The
manager manages, and the writers write.

When you start growing a doc group, the political
bullshoy grows, both inside and outside the group. A
manager is there to understand where the group is and
where it needs to be, and what it needs to get there.

Now, I'm not saying that the manager shouldn't get
down and dirty in crunch times - which is where being
a part of the writing team prior to management-dom is
important. A good manager WILL dive in and help in
times of need. BUT, I disagree that a tech-pubs
manager should have a regular writing job to
fulfill... there's too much other stuff to get done.

I worked for an excellent tech-pubs director, who was
the team leader when I joined the group. The first few
months I was on the team, he was banging out docs
witht he rest of us. Then he became a manager when we
got a few more people on board. He stopped writing for
the most part, but still clung to publishing. Then he
made director, and had to let go of the day-to-day
stuff altogether. I think it was a very difficult
thing for him to do, but it was required in order to
run a tight ship. We all filled in the various other
roles nicely. In that brief amount of time (less than
2 years), we were able to almost triple the amount of
docs for our company (convergent telecomm billing and
rating software), streamline established processes,
and introduce in-house CD publishing and Web delivery.

I don't think we could have done as much as quickly or
as efficiently if he continued to write. Someone has
to focus on the big picture.

Bill Swallow
Technical Writer
bswallow -at- poweradz -dot- com

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