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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Carol Anne Wall
> How do you receive requests for your writing services? Does
> someone just
> drop by your desk, ask for help and you decide if you have time? Does
> your manager assign you to a project or a specific task? Is there a
> formal request (memo, database entry) that outlines what they need you
> to do?
As the lone writer for our division, and for several related product lines, I _get_ scheduled by the projects that come by. My "schedule" for a given release of a given product coincides roughly with the Engineering Test cycle.
Of note is the fact that there are 30-some engineers at this office, divided into three(-ish) groups, as well as five testers (plus some other guys that do builds and test-automation), and one of me.
What with projects occuring simultaneously, a lot of overlap, and a lot of movement, you can imagine that resources - particularly the techwriter resource - are constantly being rescheduled.
Pretty much all research-and-writing tasks go through the project route, and are nominally scheduled.
Meanwhile, people come by for all sorts of things vaguely to do with documentation "Kev? Remember that doc that went with...?"
And many of the engineers are ESL and want me to review their docs, and so on.
Our IT dept. has a trouble-ticket system, which they've made work. Our "Creative Services" (the graphics and design gang) has a formal request process (that sorta hangs together, but we regularly subvert). I once tried to implement a writing task request form and process, and it fell flat on its face. It was requiring too much of my time and effort and too much pushing of string.
So, my answer (for this one-man techwriting department) is: It's a mix.
We're tap-dancing as fast as we can.
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