RE: Technical Writing, Training and QA

Subject: RE: Technical Writing, Training and QA
From: Mark -dot- Eichelberger -at- Aftech -dot- Fiserv -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 07:55:30 -0500

Hi everyone. I had responded to the postings earlier in the week, but I
don't think my response made to the list, so I am forwarding it again.
First of all, thanks to all who responded to my first posting. Second, I
should provide a little more information.

>From the original posting:
<<<One of the many factors in the souring of the relationship was the
Director of Training and Installation's desire for the Technical Writers to
periodically take on additional roles of trainers if the need arose. Since
2 out of the 3 Tech Writers in the department have training backgrounds, the
Director felt they were a resource that could be used by the training staff.
Both the Technical Writers and the Manager of Training have strongly
resisted this. Of course, now that Manager of Training has resigned, the
technical writers fear that the Director will hire a manager more in line
with his philosophy and the result is that we will be forced to take on
training assignments.>>>

I should have stated why we are strongly resistant to this. First of all,
the tech writers all perform internal training on documented enhancements to
products. This training coincides with the distribution of the enhanced
software to both internal and external clients. In addition, we are willing
to help the training staff in preparation of training materials,
presentation materials or to actually train subjects in which we have a
level of expertise. However, during the last year, our company has gone
from 1 annual release of new software to 3. This has dramatically shortened
the deadlines for documentation preparation while increasing the need for
documentation updates. In other words, more work in less time.

At the same time, the Director of Training and Installation has embarked on
a aggressive expansion of training classes offered for internal and external
clients. In short, the current schedule calls for 2 to 3 seminars per
month. Many of these seminars are 2 day seminars. Couple this with the
fact that the Training department currently has 1 part time employee and a
manager (a working manager expected to train) and there are no plans to hire
more staff. The Director wants the technical writers to begin training
seminars that can not be handled by the training staff. 2 out of 3 of the
tech writers have training experience and know that it takes between 1-2
days to prepare for a 2 day seminar. Our fear is that training will take
precedence over the technical writing and that our documentation will suffer
as a result. That, in a nutshell, is why we have been resistant to taking
on additional training assignments.

Thanks again for the responses.

Mark Eichelberger
Technical Writer
Mark -dot- Eichelberger -at- Aftech -dot- Fiserv -dot- com
610 993 8000 x534


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