RE: tracking writer progress on tight deadline?

Subject: RE: tracking writer progress on tight deadline?
From: "Sarah Kampman" <skampman -at- acornsys -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 18:16:44 -0600

> Do any of you have recommendations on how I can make sure I get the
> documentation from these "writers" in time for me to format and edit the
> data? (And run it past reviewers and update it.)

If everyone's reasonably cooperative, here's a simple, friendly, low-tech
way to handle it...

Gather everyone together for a 15-minute meeting pronto. Explain the
situation like you just did, express that you can only do it as a team, and
with pencil & paper in hand, say "let's work out a plan of action." Working
from a list of every topic you need, and ask everyone to start claiming
ownership and giving you a date by which they can have the topic completed.
You're the scribe--just write.

When the list is completed, organize it by person and/or date, and post it
on your door. Make checkmarks as each topic comes in to you, and follow up
that day if one isn't in to you by 3pm. A visible list helps keep everyone might even get someone volunteering to take on add'l topics if
theirs took less time than they anticipated.

It may also help to create a quick & dirty "template" for everyone to use.
Forget styles--just make it a quick attempt at structure. For example, for a
command reference guide, you might have listed:

That way, no one has to start from a blank piece of paper, and (hopefully)
no one is tempted to get creative/verbose...There isn't time for that! Then
format & edit as topics come in--it'll help prevent a last-minute crunch on

Good luck and HTH,

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tracking writer progress on tight deadline?: From: julie brodeur

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