Re: gaining control of a dysfunctional environment?

Subject: Re: gaining control of a dysfunctional environment?
From: arroxaneullman -at- aol -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 17:50:23 -0400

Anonymous Poster said:

My question is: people on techwr-l occasionally mention they use their role to impose structure and processes in their companies, so
they can do their job. How exactly? What's the secret? What am I doing wrong?

My sympathy, anonymous poster!

It's been just over a year that I've been the sole writer/editor/etc. at my company and I've seen and felt much of what you're going through. Luckily, some people in my workplace do understand the importance of documenation: happy customers come back and good documenation makes customers very happy!

When I came here I knew they had a looong way to go before having a solid documentation 'department' and I figured it would take two years (at the least) to get it organized and create any sort of workflow. I've had to reevaluate the progress, the means to achieve my goals and even the goals themselves over the last year. As I get to know what the company needs and which personalities are open to suggestion or rationale, I focus on these individuals when presenting "suggestions" for organizational improvement. I can't say it's always worked. But getting people to at least talk about the need to improve--for instance, the lag time between product updates and when I find out about them--has definitely been worth the effort.

The key for me has been perseverence. I have not yet won all the battles, and I've had to choose to let some annoyances fall to the wayside in the hopes that I can focus on what's important.

It's not easy and there is no quick solution. Sorry to disappoint you. But you're not alone and you have to tools to handle it.

If you think your boss is intefering unnecessarily in your responsibilities or preventing you from fully contributing to the company, then you need to go to his/her boss. Explain to whoever is above your boss how you are making the product more valuable and how impediments (insert examples here) prevent the company from getting the most out of its own products.

If you need reminders of why your job and a stable documentation workflow are important, crack open Hackos' _Managing_Your_Documentaiotn_Projects_. It's kept me from losing it just a few times in the last year.

Keep fighting the good (documentation) fight!


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Fwd: gaining control of a dysfunctional environment?: From: Anonymous Poster

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