Re: tech writer group dynamics

Subject: Re: tech writer group dynamics
From: Mary Arrotti <mary_arrotti -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Jill Mohan <jillemo -at- gmail -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 13:54:27 -0700 (PDT)

It sounds like you need to follow up with your management to get some more details. The fact that your manager mentions "cloning" makes it sound as though you will be hiring a peer - so I'd assume your career path probably wouldn't change. It's worth confirming this though.
As for who gets to work on what - I'd recommend looking at your docs and responsibilities & seeing if there are any natural ways to divide the work. Do you produce different types of docs? Are you supporting more than one product or project? Alternatively, you can choose the docs you prefer or the docs that would be most difficult for a new hire to take on.
There are also tasks that you can perform for each other - peer editing and testing, for example. These should be identified as the new hire's (and your) responsibilities.
At the beginning (job description stage), it's really important to define what roles and responsibilities you both will have & share. It's also important to confirm (assuming that you'd want this) that the workload is to be shared - that you both will pitch in to help the other person out. You might also want to stipulate that future documentation must comply with current style & standards.
With two writers, the personality and personal responsibility of a second writer can make a world of difference. It can be very difficult working with someone with a passive-aggressive personality or for someone with a poor work ethic. I'd recommend looking for someone who has a can-do attitude, likes to keep busy, and has a positive personality.
So, you might want to take time for touchy-feeling questions during the interviews. Asking something along the lines of "Give me an example of a conflict you had with a coworker & how you resolved it" could give you good feedback.
Good luck.

Jill Mohan <jillemo -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
what will the career path be, how will it
be decided as to who gets to work on what, how long should it take to
write/review documents, etc.

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tech writer group dynamics: From: Jill Mohan

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