Re: Re; Validating documentation

Subject: Re: Re; Validating documentation
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002 16:52:52 -0800 (PST)


> Omniscence is not one of the qualities of a technical writer. There are
> dependencies in this field, and if you think SMEs are "merely resources", you

> are part of the problem.

Nobody asked you to know everything. You were asked (presumably by your
management) to be responsible, proactive, and complete. To be that way, you
need to schedule work properly to ensure all dependencies are met. And when
dependencies are not met, you need to solve the problem yourself.

In other words, if you want to be given authority to do your work and not have
people mettle with your fonts and commas, then you need to take FULL
responsibility for your work. You cannot have authority without responsibility.
And it sounds to me - and please correct me if I am wrong - that a lot of
writers want all the authority to control their documents but they don't want
the responsibility of making sure the information is correct. That's BS.

Engineering staff is a resource which a writer can draw upon for help, answers,
and guidance. So is Google, the library, TECHWR-L, demo software, manufacturer
web sites, etc. Most writers are literally swimming in resources, but they
refuse to see or use them. Preferring instead to hunker down in their cubes and
bark about how those horrible engineers don't properly respect them. Its hard
to respect people who consistently and repetitively find ways to avoid getting
the job done.

If engineers are not getting information to you on a timely basis...go get the
information yourself. Improvise, adapt and resolve!

Andrew Plato

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