RE: permalancer

Subject: RE: permalancer
From: Technical Writer <tekwrytr -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 21:07:14 -0500


Ned Bedinger wrote in response to tekwrytr:
>Consider: rotation after a fixed period spreads the work among a larger number of temps. Who has that goal?? My first thought is that it might suit employers whose work requires onlygeneric skill. Generic skills are not a characteristic of tech writing work, except where it intersects with jobs for "tool specialists" who do things like prettify documents, or warm bodies who occupy the tech writer desks as a concession to some visionary who felt that they "ought to have tech writers."
tekwrytr response: The leap to generic skills is unnecessary. A competent TW should be able to hit the ground running, and be productive almost immediately. If not, it is a lack of skill on the part of the TW or a lack of skill on the part of the hiring manager. The "cult of personality" has no place in a modern organization, and the idea that only specific people are capable of doing specific jobs is a crutch for incompetent managers unable to organize the work. > I do not see anything at all harmful in the practice, and see a LOT of benefit in increasing turnover.
Increasing turnover means losing experienced people, with the attendant loss of time and productivity, and additional costs for training the new temps, doesn't it? This is the benefit LOT you're trolling, no? Ned Bedinger VP in Charge of Institutional Memory doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com tekwrytr response: That presupposes the "experienced people" have somehow acquired set specific skills that other (equally skilled and competent) TWs lack. That is rarely the case, and if it is, becomes a problem in itself. Specifically, if the TW cannot be readily replaced, he or she is "unreplaceable, except at great expense to the organization." That is a failure of management to organize the work in a manner that facilitates completion by other skilled, competent TWs that only lack direct experience in that particular job description.

If it takes "experienced people" to perform what should be relatively routine tasks (which comprise the majority of tasks assigned to TWs), that is a failure of management. No one, including VPs and CEOs, is unreplaceable.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: permalancer: From: Technical Writer
Re: permalancer: From: Ned Bedinger

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