RE: Role of Technical Writer in IT

Subject: RE: Role of Technical Writer in IT
From: "Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)" <Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 09:58:11 +1000

As Diane said:

"Need someone familiar with Document Process Control and Microsoft Office."

OK......So, I was hired. I came in and said, "Hi. I'm Diane. I will write

what you need."

I have so much work after two weeks that I don't know how I will ever get it

all done!

Have you just tried going to the IT department and offering your services?
"Hi, I can write your <functional requirements> <database schema> <user
manual> <choose your own poison>." This has always worked for me; most IT
people fall all over themselves when they realize you seriously want to help



And my rambling response:

Hi all,

The reason the IT people fall over themselves is due to a serious imbalance
within the delicate mechanism of the inner ear that occurs from staring at
screens, or monitors, or black boxes for long periods of time, trying to
work out why things aren't as they should be, and where the <insert
adjective> is the documentation....

I agree whole-heartedly with Diane, go down and offer your services to
IT....they will be enthused....if they don't give you anything, take
something, a process and document it - or offer to tidy up a document they
are using, or have pasted to the KL-112 machine in the corner... should find that you can easily win the support and cooperation of
your quality people in this endeavour....however DON'T come to IT as the
quality representative...

....quality as put in place by quality people is seen by IT people as
hindering and bureaucratic (they - IT - want quality - they just don't want
to be told how, and what to do...and they hate all the documentation
associated with complying...).....however they usually don't see documenting
what they do as being that "bureaucratic quality" - though it does add
quality through consistency....

either is likely that if you can be personable you can winkle
some work out of IT, and if you do it quickly, and accept their comments
with a grain of salt, and ENCOURAGE them.....they will give you plenty more
to do...

all the best...

sig line "Documentation is like s*x: when it is good, it is very, very good;
when it is bad, it is better than nothing." Dick Brandon

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