RE: Sarbanes-Oxley 404 Project Information - RANT

Subject: RE: Sarbanes-Oxley 404 Project Information - RANT
From: Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- aps -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 11:08:06 -0700


The time to act is now, I think. Companies have to be compliant within a
couple of years. I'm curious, does anyone with experience in another
regulated field (e.g., banking) know how tech writers can be involved in
ongoing work like this? My understanding is that most of the ongoing
work will be in testing and updating test plans, with only occasional
changes to process docs.

I work in the utilities industry (but in an IT department). Most of the
SOX changes affected our financial controls, so they haven't hit our IT
processes heavily. Our QA team documented the correspondences with
Deloitte and Touche's Control Objectives for Information Technology
(COBIT) processes with CMMI. COBIT is Deloitte and Touche's SOX
compliance framework, so as we work on becoming CMMI level 2 compliant
by June 2005, we feel we are killing two birds with one stone.

As far as what I am doing as a technical writer on the project, it

Creating the lifecycle process documents for the CMMI level 2 project
Creating presentations for management and IS staff to explain the
project and introduce CMMI and SOX compliance
Creating Work Instructions for process users
Creating other controlled documents as needed to help with processes
(checklists, work aids, flows, forms, templates)

I also do a lot of coordinating and communication. I'm actually kind of
an assistance project manager on this project. And it's more fun and
varied than it sounds, although I will say that I miss technology when
I'm totally process-oriented. However, later, when our requirements in
the Center for Process Excellence die down I hope to "internally
consult" and get some other types of writing/editing from throughout the
IS department.

Anyone interesting in process type writing would do well to study SOX
and CMMI. Also look into Six Sigma and other related process/quality
models. Our company has modified the principles and practices into
customized Processes, so having writers who understand process but who
also can learn a company's customized ways may potentially be

Rose A. Wilcox
Center for Process Excellence, CHQ 8th Floor
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- aps -dot- com

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most
perfect refreshment.
Jane Austen

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