RE: Integrating Tech Pubs more closely with Engineering

Subject: RE: Integrating Tech Pubs more closely with Engineering
From: "Wilcox, Rose (ZB5646)" <Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 16:58:24 -0700

So my question is, what would you do? What makes a real engineer or a real
programmer seems as dubious to me as the what makes a real technical writer
question that we've debated to death. Does anyone have any suggestions for
breaking down departmental barriers that inhibit the level of cooperation
essential to produce solid technical documentation.

Basically what you are asking about is a real change in the culture. In
this case, the attitude you would like to change is part of the larger
culture, as well as ingrained in your corporate culture. Culture change
takes time, support from upper management, patience, endurance, a great deal
of knowledge about people, cleverness, inventiveness, patience, and did I
mention, endurance? And determination and stick-to-it-tiveness.

That said, the first place I would look for help would be upper management.
Basically if you have no support there, you may not be able to make your
goal. Secondly, even if you have support there, you may have other

On a practical level, deluging them with donuts (keep the sugar level high
so they are like, stoned on sugar, man) and then wait for opportunities to
wedge into the hegemony and strike when the iron is hot.

Look for allies in the ranks, too. Informal and formal communications are
your weapons in the war. I don't know your entire situation, so I am
remaining unspecific. I would combine the water-cooler approach, with upper
level support for process changes. I would keep my ear to the ground and
attempt to solve business problems with the solution that requires
engineering/tech writer team work. Any inroads would be consistently and
clearly publicized internal to the company.

I would work on my own and my team's self esteem and self image as well, so
when the opps do arise, my team would also be primed to take advantage of

These seem like good strategies to me, sitting here with a sinus headache at
the end of a long day... :-)

Rose A. Wilcox
Project Office / Power Trading
Communication Specialist / Technical Writer
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- PinnacleWest -dot- com

Random Buffy Quote:
Xander: "You have no shame."
Cordelia: "Oh, please. Like shame is something to be proud of."

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