Re: Back Again

Subject: Re: Back Again
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 12:09:26 -0800

Paul Moloney wrote:
> Any tips for starting in an established company that already
> has a writer and a documentation set? (In my last firm I was
> the sole writer in a startup.)

Congratulations on your new job!

My only advice may be obvious, but here it is anyway. :)

Be prepared to leave everything you think you know at the door, especially your preferences for tools and processes.

Every exiting group has tools and processes in place, and one set is probably no better or worse than another. Learn how things work in your new group.

Every time you think you know a better solution, jot it down...but keep it to yourself for a while. No matter how much they like you, you won't make (or keep!) many friends by pointing out their inefficiencies, at least not until you've "walked a mile in their shoes."

Before you start recommending changes, try to find out how the tools were selected, why the processes work the way they do. There may be a history that makes such tools and processes necessary or even appropriate, even though they aren't the ones you've used or even the ones you'd have chosen in the same situation.

Of course, you may have been hired specifically to evaluate the existing tools and processes and recommend or even implement changes. You may have been hired as the new manager of an existing group. In either case, you can mandate change if you deem it necessary. But I'd still recommend treading lightly until you understand all aspects of the existing environment.

The good will you foster will serve you well, no matter what your role in the group.

Good luck!


David M. Brown - Brown Inc.
dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com

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Back Again: From: Paul Moloney

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