RE: Coping with sub-par contractors (was: Frustrated)

Subject: RE: Coping with sub-par contractors (was: Frustrated)
From: "Wroblewski, Victoria" <victoria_wroblewski -at- usr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "iam nobody88" <iamnobody888 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 10:00:50 -0500

<<I've had my share of handling/coordinating with technical writers.
Having been assigned as a lead writer a couple of times, I usually have
to face the issue that I must outsource other projects to writers in a
particular country, because they're cheaper... But what do you do if
the work they produce is horribly written? The format is a mess and the
usage of English is terrible, it's like a 7-year old was explaining the

You see the problems, because you understand technical communications.
I'd bet that the powers that make the decisions to contract this stuff
out really don't understand quality documentation. They just know they
have to somehow provide some content with the end product. Even if it
is horrible.

It happens within the U.S. too; people just do not understand good,
effective technical communications and continue to settle for whatever
they can get. As long as you meet deadlines, whatever you churn out is
deemed "acceptable".

As others have stated... it sounds like the whole process is faulty. If
you can have input and determine the standards for the project before
you send it out to be done, and be allowed to reject and have them
correct what they do wrong, it should improve the process. And whenever
I've worked to try and make improvements with documentation or the
process itself, I've started with small steps. You can't tackle
everything at once, start with the most egregious errors and slowly fix
things, one at a time. And people usually take it a lot better when you
only need them to fix one issue rather than fifty. Usually in about 3-6
months, the people around you cannot believe what they used to accept as
quality documentation compared to what it is now.

- Victoria

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Thank you. USRobotics

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