Taking Minutes - Additional Information & Question

Subject: Taking Minutes - Additional Information & Question
From: "Carol Anne T. Wall" <mmpc0014 -at- pclink -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 08:37:03 -0600

I appreciate all your comments so far. It's been very interesting reading the discussion.

A couple folks asked for additional information about the situation, plus clear up a few misconceptions and ask another question.

- Minutes, if they were written at all, were done by the project coordinator or the representative from the product line for the project. Everyone avoids taking minutes, no one likes the task. As my two-year-old would say, "It's ucky."
- The writers in our group are always included in meetings, so it's not as if we'll get invited to more meetings.
- We weren't told why we were the "ideal" group to do this. There's been a sudden upsurge in requests for the writers to take minutes.
- We weren't given this task because we're being recognized for our excellent writing skills. The only people who really care about the documentation we currently produce are the programmers and testers. If anything, we're underutilized (not from a lack of trying on our part). At least 3 of us could be considered senior level technical writers (based on the discussion I've seen on the list), if not all of us.
- We were told later yesterday that this is a firm decision and will not be changed.
- This isn't IS driven. We have GREAT access to our programmers, and they respect our skills and abilities. This is coming from the project leads and management. I wish everyone gave me the respect the programmers do. I respect them as well. I am lucky to work along side such a great group of talented people.
- We're captives, not contractors.

So, here's my follow-up question for those of you who see taking minutes as a source of personal/professional power -- how do you make it empowering? It has to be something beyond our personal attitude because the people who currently take minutes don't feel empowered and can't wait to get rid of the task. I don't think the writers are being "empowered" by management.

Thanks again for your input.

Carol Anne
Carol Anne Wall, FLMI, CL
Technical Writer, Minnesota Life Ins. Co. - Individual Business Technology
St. Paul, MN USA
mmpc0014 -at- pclink -dot- com


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