new manager, need advice

Subject: new manager, need advice
From: Evelyn Barker <thehatband -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 10:41:03 -0700 (PDT)

I work for a software company that produces many
different products. Each product group is fairly
autonomous. One of the writers in my department has
been assigned (by my boss) to what we will call
Project Alpha. Project Alpha has, over the last year,
managed to frustrate two other tech writers because of
the difficulty in getting information from the Alpha
SMEs and because of general discordance within the
product group (staff turnover, lack of clear product
direction, multiple project leaders, etc.). I should
mention here that Project Alpha is a do-or-die product
for the company.

We are having to educate the Alpha team that
documentation is not written in a day and that it's
crucial that the writer be included in design and
functionality meetings.

How can I help the latest writer succeed?

I want to insulate the writer from as much heat as I
can, but I don't want to come across as a martinet to
the rest of the company. I don't think a lot of strict
lines of authority and rules are going to help, but at
the same time the writer is concerned that he will be
pulled in a thousand directions by the competing Alpha
project leaders.

Any advice appreciated.

Evelyn Barker

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