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I have a tight deadline coming up (12 working days) in which to coordinate
4 inexperienced writers (they are technical experts, not writers, but are
writing due to the time constraint).
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.)
A year or so ago I put together about 150 pages of system doc in about 10 days with nothing but non-writers. They got behind it because their managers AND the CTO got behind it. They were all part of the meeting that decided what each of them had to produce, all very energetic. I thrwe together a basic "template" (as in fill in the blanks, not as in Word Styles) for them to fill in as appropriate for their areas of expertise. I could never have created the document on my own in the time given.
It may have helped too that jobs were,more or less, on the line. This complete system description was part of the "trousseau" the company was using to woo new partners.
They wrote what they could. I made it comprehensible (the polyglot challenge was interesting. :) We nailed the deadline. The (now ex-)CTO still thinks I walk on water. But the point is, it took major support from the top and committment from everyone, not just the "mere editor" me.
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