RE: Thinking Strategically about Documentation

Subject: RE: Thinking Strategically about Documentation
From: Karen Casemier <karen -dot- casemier -at- provia -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 15:31:04 -0400

Jim Shaeffer asked for ideas for long-range planning for documentation.

You've already gotten some good suggestions. One thing I would add is to
think beyond traditional roles of the documentation department (and I
actually consider web-based training a traditional part of technical
writing, even though some do not). Where else can your skills (and those of
your department) add value? For example, one area I'm getting involved in
now is user interface design. I'm also involved in quality control and
testing. I think both of these areas can really benefit by adding the
perspective of a technical writer - it has to be the right kind of technical
writer, but there is no way I want to start that discussion again.

Ideally, you'll identify areas you are specifically interested in and
incorporate them into the plan. This could open up the door to getting
training for new responsibilities added into future budgets. Is this
somewhat self-serving? Yes, but if you identify areas where you truly can
help out the company, it helps them as well.

A couple weeks ago I started a thread about career paths for technical
writers. This thread got merged with one about motivation for technical
writers. In both those threads, you could find some ideas about other areas
in your company where you might want to get involved.

Good luck!

Karen Casemier


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