RE: New Position

Subject: RE: New Position
From: "Cathy Arthur" <catherine -dot- arthur -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 09:01:57 -0400

Thank-you to all of you who have sent replies either on or off list. It has
been very helpful!

We are a rapidly growing group, having doubled in size over the last 8
months, and I remain the primary writer for the main product. Some of our
staff are also on parental leave, which is up to one year in Canada. This
makes it easy to stick to the principle of providing goals and getting out
of the way - but I truly appreciate the affirmation that this is a good
strategy and not expediency. The interesting bit being providing goals that
are suitable for the skill level of the writer, but I prefer to err on
setting the broader goal unless I see a writer struggling with knowing where
to start or how to proceed. The technical side is wonderfully supported by
our dev leads. Our group goals include working towards core common processes
and practices while remaining flexible enough to accommodate the different
product lines. This is an evolving process in itself.

Fortunately, the company I work for is very proactive on having the tools
and training we need so we are always current on software and we are
encouraged to expand our skills with training. The advice to be genuine and
honest is also a good reminder.

The input on weekly reports interesting - I would want them to be short -
but it may be time to start these. I've not asked for them so far with
the intent of keeping the administrivia to a minimum, but I do try to speak
to everyone every day (not necessarily about work, how the cat that had
surgery is doing is also good to know). We are scattered about the floor to
keep the writers with the project managers and developers. In the toss up of
keeping the writers with the dev team or keeping writers together, we are
putting the writers with the dev teams while putting related dev teams next
to one another, so that two writers are close to one another.

Lastly, I did Toastmasters about 20 years ago, including the pieces for
technical presentations. It is a good program, and I still list it on my


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