RE: tracking writer progress on tight deadline?

Subject: RE: tracking writer progress on tight deadline?
From: "Kevin Christy" <kevinchristy -at- socal -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 16:18:35 -0800


I lived this life for several years, trying to work to fixed deadlines with
writers who did not report to me. Here's how you handle it:

1) Start from the due date, and work backwards to identify goals (x topics
done by D-day minus one, x topics done by D-day minus two, etc.). Make them
realistic and acheivable. Without stated goals, you don't have a plan... and
try telling management that you "hoped" they would turn their work into you
on time. If you see a problem, plan a way out.

2) Inform management that you may need to hire extra help to meet the
deadline, depending on how much cooperation you get from the staff. If you
don't have the juice to make these guys produce, then somebody who does
needs to know about it. There is no such thing as accountability without
authority--in other words, ultimate responsibility (and thus accountability)
lies with those who have the decision-making power. Have a plan for hiring
help if you need it, but the bottom line is that you can offer a workable
plan to management, but if you don't have control over the writers, then
it's ultimately a problem that can only be solved by higher-ups. And if you
do need help, email me, I'm available. :)

3) Keep management informed of progress. Let them know where they stand.
Remind them, if the project is behind, what can or has to be done to fix the
problem. The choice is ultimately up to them.

I don't mean to imply that you should shift "blame" or not be a team player.
The point is to acheive the GOAL! That's what's most important. Bring to the
table what you can, and rely on management to do their part. Unless you are
confident that your powers of persuasion will lead the SMEs to produce on
time, GET HELP FROM ABOVE. This is a team effort.

I could tell you some stories... but I won't. Just trust me: being part of a
team means knowing that you can rely on the other team members, INCLUDING
management. They have a role to play; let them play it.



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

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