RE: If you had 15 minutes...

Subject: RE: If you had 15 minutes...
From: "Jessica Weissman" <Jessica -dot- Weissman -at- hillcrestlabs -dot- com>
To: "Viv Crawford" <viv_crawford -at- hotmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 10:51:23 -0400

This differs so much based on circumstances in the company.

I'm lucky enough not to have to prove the worth of documentation or technical communication to the company. But I spend lots of expensive time undoing random manual formatting in Word. So I would present the Six Things You Should Do To Your Copy of Word 2003 Right Now So It Drives You Less Crazy.

Perhaps to some people that would look like squandering some grand opportunity, but in my company right now it would be the best value they could get out of 15 minutes of unadulterated me.

If I were talking to the developers only, I'd give the talk on writing error messages and tooltips that make sense, with lots of before and after examples from our own stuff.

If it were just project managers and product managers I'd talk about where to include editing and proofreading in the development cycle.

If it were just execs I'd start with a few no-proofreading horror stories and then give an abbreviated Six Things about Word.

If it were just [insert name of specific executive] I'd spend the whole 15 minutes on Please Don't Let Your Kids Use Your Computer for their French Homework Because it Resets the Proofing Language in Word to French with Horrific Results, or, Failing That, Please Let Me Lock Your Copy of Word Down Better. The time-saved multiplier on that alone, if the message got through, would probably set some kind of record.

These fit my company right now; your mileage had pretty well better vary.

- Jessica


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References:
If you had 15 minutes...: From: Viv Crawford

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