RE: Delegating

Subject: RE: Delegating
From: "James Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2007 10:59:18 -0700

>Gene Kim-Eng said:
>>Jim Barrow wrote:
>>So how does one go from flying solo to flying in formation?
>How "new" are the hires?

Writer A started last Tuesday. Writer B starts tomorrow.

>Experienced writers or wet-behind-the-ears entry-level?

Writer A caught on to the dynamics of the project very quickly and was able
to finish a process flow task I began some months ago. Writer B is the
golden child and impressed me during the interview to the point that my ego
was threatened ;^)

>Do you have to teach them how to *be* tech writers, or just figure out how
to do a >brain dump of what you know about your current work-in-progress?

The latter.

>I like Sharon's advice about shadowing for a week for experienced
personnel. For >newbies, maybe more like a month, plus you'll be losing a
lot of their time to training >in other areas (like how to use your tools).

We shouldn't acknowledge Sharon since I do, in fact, owe her dinner :^) But
yes, she was right on target and I am going to follow her advice. As for
tools, our department is pretty much in the Stone Age. We're an MS Office
house. Heck, when I asked about online help, management responded with,
"Online what?"

"Online help. The help system that guides our users."

[blank stares]

"Um...what do our users do if they have a question about an application?"

" someone?"

>What do you have in the way of documented processes and style guides? If
>nothing, you've still got about 18 hours, so hop to it. :)

Hehehe...that's the first thing I did when I got there.

>This also a good object lesson about keeping projct notes and logs. If you
haven't >been doing this it's too late, of course, but have the new hires do
it so you can sit >down with them as you transition project work to them and
review their work, if for no >other reason that that it will help you track
what you've handed over to them.

Hmmm...I have *my* comments from the meetings I've attended as well as
papers detailing *why* certain paths were chosen (one vendor over another,
one application over another, etc.). Is that what you're referring to?

>>Tech writers, as well as the type of project that we've undertaken, is new
to our >>management. They believe that a) tech writers are nothing more
than scribes and >>b) 50-page use cases should be completed in a few hours.
The fact that poor >>management has stalled the project for nine months is
irrelevant. It simply means >>that the tech writers will have to type
>Did you know this before you took this job?

Nope. As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"

>>That's what they did to me. "Hi Jim, here's the link to the shared drive.
I think >>there's information out there that will explain what we're working
on. Good luck."
>Hmmm, how much corporate culture kool-aid have you been drinking that
continuing >this practice is even a thought?

Were I an employee in your fiefdom, this wouldn't be expected. But I have
been slowly changing policies and practices so that it doesn't happen again.
But I'm only one man, and there's only 37 hours in a day ;^)

- Jim


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Re: Delegating (was: Working later than the boss): From: Gene Kim-Eng

Previous by Author: RE: Delegating
Next by Author: Decoding Interview Questions
Previous by Thread: Re: Delegating (was: Working later than the boss)
Next by Thread: Re: Delegating

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads