RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!

Subject: RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!
From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: "'Andrew Plato'" <andrew -dot- plato -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 16:26:55 -0400


Hi Andrew,

See you have not lost the ability to stir the pot.

Quick question for you? Do your consultants know what the reports are for?

The reason I ask is this: irrespective of whether they can write or not,
people don't do a task well if it bores them. Writing reports is generally
boring, and so people generally do not do it well. They blather to fill up
space so that the report is long enough that they can say it is finished.

If they were not bored by the task, they might actually be able to do it
well enough. If they are bored, it may be because they don't understand what
the reports are actually for. I'm no security expert, but I believe it is
one of the axioms of the business that the most insecure part of any system
is the human part. You can secure a company's data systems in triple bands
of iron, but one human goof-up can expose the whole thing.

I'm guessing that the purpose of the reports is to get your customers to
stop doing dumb things that compromise their security. Do your consultants
grok that the reports are key to fixing the human part of the security
equation?

One of my mantras is that the purpose of all communication is to change
behavior. To communicate successfully, you have to answer three questions:

* Whose behavior am I trying to change?
* How do I want them to behave?
* What can I say that will motivate them to behave in that way?

If you could get your consultants to answer those questions about the
reports they are writing, you might find that they produced better results
without any further training.

For what it's worth.

Mark

---
Mark Baker

* Every Page is Page One *
http://everypageispageone.com
http://twitter.com/mbakeranalecta
http://about.me/mark.baker

> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- co
> m] On Behalf Of Andrew Plato
> Sent: October 6, 2011 4:28 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Help - my consultants cannot write!
>
> Its been easily 10 years since I posted anything to TECHWR-L. I miss
> those blathering posts from the last century.
>
> Okay, I have a real reason for being here. And some of you will
> probably appreciate the irony of this.
>
> I own Anitian Enteprise Security - a security consultancy. I was a
> tech writer in the 90s, spent plenty of time here barfing out my
> opinions. Search the archives. Lots of frothing from me and others.
>
> I am in desperate need of tech writer training for my consultants. I
> have a bunch of information security consultants who cannot write. Its
> infuriating. I edit their material and I want to wring their necks.
> They blather and yammer on about this and that - I need to teach these
> people how to succinctly express complex ideas and write reports.
>
> So, my question is:
>
> - Anybody have any suggestions for training courses, materials or
> guides I can use to teach these people how to write?
>
> - And if there isn't anything good out there, who could develop such a
> program...relatively inexpensively?
>
> Ideally, I'd like some program or class or something I could send my
> consultants through that at the end of it, they would be able to
> write...better. My problem is, I don't want to send them to some
> community college writing class. I need something that specifically is
> focused on complex report writing.
>
> I was going to develop this material myself, but I am just too busy.
>
> I call upon the great TECHWR-L for ideas, guidance, and insight.
>
> Oh, and stop eating hamsters.
>
> Andrew Plato
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels
> with Doc-To-Help.
> Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
> Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
> http://www.doctohelp.com
>
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> or visit
> http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/mbaker%40an
> alecta.com
>
>
> To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.
>
> Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
> http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat
>
>

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


References:
Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Andrew Plato

Previous by Author: Re: STC certification program
Next by Author: RE: introducing steps
Previous by Thread: Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!
Next by Thread: RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads