RE: About responsibility and fault

Subject: RE: About responsibility and fault
From: Lyn Worthen <Lyn -dot- Worthen -at- caselle -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 10:43:11 -0600


Around here, we're currently working <schmoozing?> with both the Development
and Support managers to get them to authorize time for their people to a)
answer questions in a timely manner and b) review docs (also in a timely
manner). As I expressed it to the Support manager the other day:
"...We know that your people are terribly busy. Our job is actually to
make their lives easier by providing information that both the customers and
they can refer to. We don't want to have a negative impact on your team's
time, but we do need to ask that you encourage them to bring our docs out
from behind the stove and up onto the back burner where they belong."

We have a very small, overextended QA team, so Support tends to be our
primary docs reviewers. However, since they're expected to be on the phone
all the time (except for lunches & breaks), the Support techs who were
getting reviews back within the same month of receiving the docs (I'm not
exaggerating here) were either coming in early/staying late/working through
lunch to do it. I showed the Support Mgr. how quality docs fit into the
equation, and she's agreed to let them know that they can allocate some time
to reviewing docs, and to let them know how to properly indicate it on their
timesheets as productive time. No "ordering" cooperation, just authorizing
it.

No one was blamed, because this is a team effort. We're all just trying to
figure out how to arrange the responsibilities in the most productive manner
possible, and sometimes that takes some creativity.

L

-----Original Message-----
From: John Posada
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 8:08 AM

>>You don't manage professionals by ordering them around. Most
>>professionals don't appreciate managers that meddle in their
>>work and boss them around.
>
>You don't order them around, but you define the rules by which
>they do their job.
>
> Keep an up-to-date copy of source code in VSS
> Submit a status report every Friday afternoon.
> Not cannot write code in Clarion.
> Be done with the coding by next Friday
>
>See they get ordered around every day in many ways.
>
>However, a professional technical writer shouldn't have to resort
>to this, though sometimes it is necessary. I needed the CTO to
>express his belief that documenting all of the processes was important
>to him (the CTO). Nothing heavy handed, just let him know that the
>requirement was not an insignificant issue.

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