TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
The situation you describe comes from middle management not caring enough
about documentation to take it in hand properly, because upper management
doesn't care either. Too many have "management styles" that consist of
trimming their sails to catch the wind that they think will blow them to
bonus land, and ignoring everything else.
The only workflow management software I've ever seen was no more useful in
actually tracking work progress than a decent checklist.
On Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:26 AM, Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> The problem of "no architect responsible overall" has been around a long
> time. I have seen solutions appear when some really good dev person grabs
> hold of it, but all too often I have seen where the writers are pushing on
> a string, and the best overall review they can get is, "We don't need to
> look at that section. It would be a waste of effort. We saw it before."
> Nobody wants to make sure that the forthcoming version of the code or the
> specifications actually match the content of the "already reviewed" portion.
> It's actually an issue of quality engineering, and the quality is not
> generally created by the QA department or by the tech writers. Instead it
> comes directly from top management, because they are the ones who are in a
> position to scuttle quality--or quality documentation--by failing to supply
> the required resources. "No, you may NOT talk to the programmers," said one
> software manager. "Any questions you have, have to come through ME."
> Fortunately he was overruled by the management above him.
> Some management have hands-on experience and superb people skills that
> allow them to get everything right without needing to micro-manage. Others
> have major blind spots but muddle along regardless. We tech writers can
> occasionally help solve the problems without official support, or even in
> the face of active resistance. But from what I've seen it's often more
> worthwhile to go elsewhere, and let the toxic environment die of its own
> On Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:57:04 -0500, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> Maybe approval workflow software such as Comala Workflows.
>> The kind of anarchic / chaotic mess you're describing doesn't seem
>> particularly modern to me. I think that's been a common style at
>> software companies for over 20 years.
>> On Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 5:17 AM, Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com> wrote:
>>> The good(?) old 2 drafts and Camera Ready review model seems dated for
>>> what is actually going on between writers and reviewers: lots of partial
>>> drafts, not enough/too many review cycles, fragmented review (each reviewer
>>> is responsible for a set of topics, but no architect responsible overall),
>>> skype-based walkthrough reviews. Is there a more modern approach,
>>> theoretical or practical that deals with the above problems?
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and
> content development | http://techwhirl.com
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as bus -dot- write -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
>http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
> magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com