Re: Measuring TW Performance

Subject: Re: Measuring TW Performance
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 13:55:35 -0500

There has been somewhat of an apples-and-oranges quality to this thread so far, I think.

The model Dori has propounded has to do with the cost of not having a particular document, but I don't think that answers the question of what the writer is worth to the company. There are probably situations where it is important for the company to have a full-time regular employee on hand to respond to federal audits. Aside from that case, though, the value of a document to the company doesn't have any direct relationship to the question of employee productivity or performance. The needed documents can be produced by salaried employees, by on-site contract employees, or by independent consultants. The financial types are going to ask which is the least costly way to produce a document that meets the company's quality requirements.

They are also going to ask--I've said this before but it bears repeating--whether the distribution of headcount in the company, by department, falls within industry guidelines. You will often hear senior managers muttering about headcount and you will see them making what appear to be boneheaded decisions (laying off employees and hiring them back as consultants or whatever). But there is a logic to this for companies that are publicly held or wish to become publicly held. If the test they're looking at says development has to have seventeen fewer employees, then guess what. Seventeen people are going to be laid off and the ones the manager really likes are going to get contracts. Too bad about the others. Tech writers are often grouped with "others" in that situation.

What I'm getting at is that "I created this deliverable that saved the company half a million dollars" is not necessarily a winning argument. "I created it for less than you would have paid to outsource it" stands a better chance. "I'm the only one here who knows how the whole product fits together" might have some value if the manager knows it's true; otherwise, don't count on it.

Okay, now I'm just rambling. I thought, though, that it might be helpful to look at the question from this angle.



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RE: Measuring TW Performance: From: Brasel, Russell

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