Re: document your job?

Subject: Re: document your job?
From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: Editor in Chief <editorialstandards -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 16:08:18 -0700

Is there still any such thing as a "common techwriter work environment
anymore? I haven't had two jobs that had all that much in common in the
past 20 years.

In an ISO environment, documenting processes and work instructions is a
requirement, and even in the absence of ISO it is still good business

Note that documenting processes and work instruction is NOT the same thing
as documenting your job. It is one thing to write a list of instructions
for tasks such as how to configure and use a VM, how to build a new
document using the company template, etc., that would enable someone with
your skills and experience to pick up where you left off if the event that
proverbial bus ever connects with the wrong part of your body, but you
cannot provide step-by-step instructions for your skills and experience.
An instruction step that says, "Edit draft to the requirements of the MS
Manual of Style" is not the same thing as training an editor. Even in the
ISO environment, work instructions only apply to step-by-step tasks and not
to functions requiring educated judgement and skills.

If you are not doing anything that requires educated judgement and skills,
then you may have something to worry about from having your work
instructions documented....

Gene Kim-Eng

On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM, Editor in Chief <
editorialstandards -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> Does the above describe a fairly common techwriter work environment, today?
> Is there a good reason, from the writer perspective, to pull all the
> documentation
> for such an environment together in one place, one document? Without the
> carrot/stick of ISO preparation looming?

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