RE: how to manage [Was RE: Need New Concepts to Discuss (Was RE: Nee d help please)]

Subject: RE: how to manage [Was RE: Need New Concepts to Discuss (Was RE: Nee d help please)]
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <SGallagher -at- akonix -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 14:39:46 -0800

> -----Original Message-----

> ... Please share your most important tools, techniques, lessons
> learned, battles
> won/lost, how you gained knowledge/insight/seasoning from same.

> For example, por ejemplo, par exemple, zum Beispiel, per esempio:
> The challenges of managing the strong personalities we like
> to hire is a
> side-topic in its own right.
> e.g., how to balance the tendency toward "ownership" of docs by a lead
> writer with department guidelines, best practices, the
> compelling need for
> "good enough" QA [perfectionism kills!], and so on.

I'm particularly fond of MBO. Creating objectives with/for each employee
accomplishes several things.

* It provides a measurable performance indicator, so rather than needing to
provide a nebulous review of an employee's performance, you can acutally
compare the employee's achievements to the stated objectives. Comes in
very handy at review time.

* It lets you know where an employee's interests lie. I'm of the opinion
it is much easier to lead someone when you know where they want to go
and can take them there. If an employee states that learning to produce
online help is a goal, you know where to assign that kind of work where
it would be welcome.

* It lets your employees know what you expect of them, gives them a
clear goal to work toward.

One hint that a boss of mine gave me is to make sure that a few of the
stated goals are already achieved or sure to be achieved. A little instant
gratification goes a long way.

As far as conquering the ownership battle goes, the best way I've found is
to give all employees a say. Quite simply, creating a style guide and
it up for debate every six months or so, depending on work flow, helps a
If you have a complaint about the style guide, you have your chance to voice
an opinion at scheduled review times. The group reaches a concensus and
everybody follows the guide. Not that it's always *that* simple, but it

-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- akonix -dot- com

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