Re: Where is the ceiling in TW? Project Management!

Subject: Re: Where is the ceiling in TW? Project Management!
From: "Burt, Genevieve" <GBurt -at- lrs -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 16:46:00 -0600

Where is the ceiling in TW? I think it's in project management,
particularly if you're a techwriter who has experience in
documenting/participating on software development teams.

Why? Because so much of what the techwriter can do is directly related to
project management. SMEs rarely like/are good at doing all the
documentation required for the project to be a success. And just take a
look at this list of documents that go into a software project:
1. Project Initiation document
2. Architecture Evaluation document
3. Software Development Plan
4. Functional Specifications
5. Functional Prototype (GUI design and accompanying business rules)
6. Detailed Design document
7. Change Control document
8. Test Plans
9. Test Plan Results Report
10. Web Server Configuration document
11. Build Plan
12. Coding Standards
13. Risk Management document
14. User Manual
14. Help system

Techwriters who participate in writing/editing/coordinating these docs from
start-finish on a project become the hub of information for the project. By
definition, the project manager has to be the hub of the project. The only
difference is that Techwriters, generally, don't estimate how long the
project will take per task/resource person, don't have to crack the whip on
anyone for resources/output, and don't have to deliver the project news
(good or bad) to the bosses. So, after a few more years of project
experience (which you undoubtedly have), and perhaps a course in PM, the
door to a techwriter's career in PM would be open...Voila! "The ascension of
the techwriter."

You get more money, more respect, and are doing essentially the same good
stuff, IMHO.

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