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> Project Analysis
> John Posada writes: "My job isn't Process Analyst, but
> part of what I'm doing is analyzing 30 processes and
> documenting them diagrammatically."
> Many of us, though, can go for years before being
> tasked with a similar project, if ever. Everyone has
Maybe, just maybe, if a writer who doesn't think they need it, knew what it
was about, they'd find out that the quality of what they do increases.
Simplistic example: I can balance my checkbook without knowing math, if
everything goes right. I get my checkbook register, I get my statement. I
compare a symbol that looks like 405 (check number) with the same symbol in
the statement and see if both numbers that start with $ are the same. At the
end, if all are accounted for and all match, I'm balanced. Now...if you know
math, doesn't the procedure take on all additional kinds of aspects and
allow you to do so many additional things?
You could be plodding along creating mediocre documents, but you don't
they're mediocre because it's all you know. Knowing additional techniques
makes them better, but you don't know they'd be better because you don't
know the skill that makes them better.
> Project Management
> Writers need project management skills. But then,
> pretty much everyone employed needs project management
> skills of some sort. I'm not so sure that "technical
> writing project management" is all that different from
> the project management needed in many jobs.
Not all do. "Bill...I'm hiring you write the step by step process for
installing the application and hand it in within 5 days." There's no project
management involved, but you don't need a credentialed writer either.
OTOH, at your interview, your prospective boss says to you and says "By the
end of June, create a Run/Design/Build document set. I'll need a progress
status report every two weeks to correspond with the development schedule of
the other departments. Here's their project schedule to make sure you stay
in step with their efforts" You BET you have a project and you need to
manage it. Wouldn't your management feel better if they knew you knew how to
manage a project?
Certification's strength isn't to show what you can do after having done it
for a year at you current employer. It's strength is to show your existing
employer that you can do things you haven't been doing, or a prospective
employer that you know how to do things you haven't actually done in past
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
"Alright, nobody move! I've got a dragon here, and I'm not afraid to use it"
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