RE: Most Impt. Skill to Learn in Tech Comm Program

Subject: RE: Most Impt. Skill to Learn in Tech Comm Program
From: "Christensen, Kent" <lkchris -at- sandia -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 09:00:20 -0600

I'd suggest the most important skill to learn is project management.
(Microsoft Project, etc.)

This will of course be "political," but it's my view that the better
technical projects are managed using formal project management techniques,
and it's good for the writer to understand that and to then understand where
s/he fits in. Perhaps the writer, then, can even establish his/her own
system of milestones, dependencies, etc.

However, I think the most important part of this question should not be
"what" but rather "where." Suggest your tech comm program arrange to
cooperate with your engineering department in a way that both groups share
the same project management training. Good opportunity to be exposed to the
SME personality. Good way to ensure tech writers become part of the team
rather than--as was so unfortunately suggested here recently--"sheltered"
from the realities of the job. That's the product development team, not the
"manual" team, of course.

Second and third? Product ergonomics; user testing.

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