Convincing management of the value of documentation?

Subject: Convincing management of the value of documentation?
From: Keith Purtell <keithpurtell -at- keithpurtell -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2012 23:52:50 -0500

I've been working for several months at a digital publishing company. Most of my job deals with PDF-to-image conversion for magazine publishers. A month into the job, the production manager took me aside and said he tries to give people opportunities to advance based on their talents. He pointed out that we're working at an IT company where no one has ever written documentation on any of our proprietary in-house software or systems. (I formerly wrote documentation for Sprint.) As things stand, every time someone new is hired, an existing employee has to drop what he's doing and spend more than a week training the new person. The production manager asked me to start work on some of our core procedures and said this would give me a chance to be promoted.

However, our CEO has an odd attitude about staff's skills and their value. He pays most of us less than other IT companies in the city. He once stated that our job was so easy that "a ninth-grader could do it." He's sending one co-worker to Germany just to learn about a proposed new intranet system, but he doesn't want to pay people like me any more money. Are there references I can use to illustrate for him why a documentation manager is worth the investment?

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