Convincing others of your value (was: Metrics in its own thread)

Subject: Convincing others of your value (was: Metrics in its own thread)
From: "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 11:43:22 -0400

One of the best experiences I've had at showing the usefulness of tech
writers had nothing to do with tech writing.

Our company had a "team building" day. Half the day was spent bowling
and playing mini golf. It was well over 100 degrees that day, and I'm
not good in the sun. Although I'd bathed in SPF70, I ended up
overheating badly. They didn't excuse me; they just packed me in some
ice and hydrated me.

The second half of the day was spent in a meeting room. They broke us up
into groups, and split each department evenly among the groups, so each
group got X QA folks, X managers, etc. Then we had to "build a space
station" of a certain size and height, using kindergarten-level art
supplies: Play-Doh, straws, pipe cleaners, etc. This part was GREAT fun.
At the end of the game, the teams had to identify various things like
strategies that did or didn't work, communication issues, etc. We also
had to elect a Most Valuable Player for each team. We 3 TWs were all
elected MVP of our teams. I think the 4th team elected a QA person. I
was especially pleased to be elected since I'd spent the entire exercise
lying on a table, wrapped in ice-packs.

It seemed to really open peoples' eyes to the TWs and how we worked, how
we thought, and what we could do, given half a chance. The shine wore
off eventually, but for a while, it really improved our standing in the
eyes of our co-workers. It was a bit of a Pyrrhic victory, since it also
meant we got drawn into more and more activities that should have been
outside our purview.

Also, I always hear bad things about "team building" but for all the
flaws of that company, they made sure we had a lot of fun in the name of
team building. It was always some game day in the park or office
Olympics or something silly that nevertheless ended up being both fun
and reinforcing the team aspect or our work.

Madelyn "teamwork" Boudreaux (GET IT? Teamwork is my middle name!)

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Re: Metrics in its own thread: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Metrics in its own thread: From: Keith Hood

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