FWD: RE: Documentation plans, standards manuals, and more

Subject: FWD: RE: Documentation plans, standards manuals, and more
From: anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 19:51:42 -0600 (MDT)

I originally sent this email to Andrew Plato as part of the on-going style
guide debate. Andrew very thoughtfully replied and commented that he
thought it should be public. On review, I agreed, so I am sending it to
Eric to post anonymously.....

<original message>

One of the other writers mentioned the need for style guides in growing
departments, particularly where personality conflicts arise. I don't
particularly want to comment publicly, but I know of a company with four
writers, all with egos bigger than Texas, who, without a style guide,
b*tch endlessly about another's change to the "approved but
unspoken" style, yada yada yada.

The style guide isn't a panacea, however. The guide was written by 2.5
(one wasn't hired at the beginning) of the current writers, who wrote it
with some other slackers (who really did need one and who were
fired). Recently the lead writer had the gall to tell the other writer
that the writer hadn't participated and couldn't complain about missing
stuff or changes that should be made. You can imagine how that made ego #2

Moral of the story... The only reason why egos #1, 2, 3, & 4 haven't
imploded yet is because the style guide provides a buffer zone. The only
reason why egos #1, 2, 3, & 4 haven't been fired is because they mostly
get stuff done and management has left it to the lead writer who will only
manage projects but refuses to manage people. Sh*t happens, but what you
do with it is up to you!

Sideline to the story... My friend, ahem, ego #X, doesn't like the
situation and has squashed the ego into a state the size of Rhode Island
and reminds self that it's a consulting gig even with a W2, so do what the
customer wants and get on with it already. Really, how many times can you
argue about "a" or "an"?! :)

Anyway, I do think style guides have a place--many times not for writing
reasons! Inconsistent use or creating a static document also causes
problems. For my company, we have multiple writers and projects with three
types of documentation going simultaneously. We have to have a guide, so
we can move between projects and maintain a consistent company
voice. Other places don't need this rigidity.

Sorry for such a long message, and all the best. I hope you can see why
this message was not exactly the best for public consumption! :)

Forwarded anonymously on request. If you want the
original poster to see your response, you must reply
to the TECHWR-L list. All direct replies to this
message are automatically discarded. Contact Eric
ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com with questions.


*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems
Available 4/30/01 at http://www.devahelp.com or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by DigiPub Solutions Corp, producers of PDF 2001 Conference East,
June 4-6, Baltimore, MD. Now covering Acrobat 5. Early registration deadline
April 27. http://www.pdfconference.com.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: ADMIN: Thanks!
Next by Author: FWD: Re: ethics, morals in documentation?
Previous by Thread: RE: Documentation plans, standards manuals, and more
Next by Thread: RE: RE: Documentation plans, standards manuals, and more

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads