Dress code and other policies

Subject: Dress code and other policies
From: Faith Weber <weber -at- EASI -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1993 15:58:45 PDT

Dan Lupo writes:

> I would be interested to hear about other policies imposed by
> your organizations that you feel affects your writing, and in
> what way. And you may want to send your thoughts to me directly
> or keep this tangent to the dress code thread going publically.

I can venture some *positive* policies that have been imposed fairly
recently by our management:

o All engineering personnel (this includes writers, testers,
support people, etc. as well as software developers) are
to regularly read and participate in electronic conferences
pertaining to each of our products. We are all expected to
know something about what's happening with each product,
whether or not we are directly involved in it (of course,
we are a small company, but big companies could use a
limited version of the same strategy).

This accomplishes a variety of things. One is that we all
have some idea what the other people in engineering are
doing, and facilitates a sense of teamwork. Another is that
since conversations about minutiae (sp?) of a product take
place in the electronic conference, I don't have nearly as
many "surprises" over here in documentation at the last
minute as I did before. In the past, sometimes I would be left in
the dark about something major -- with no malice, it was
just that someone forgot to tell me.

o Every week the engineering department and anyone else who's
interested attends a meeting, in which we see a presentation
about one of our products by the developer in charge of it,
or our testing procedures, or a relevant class someone
recently attended. On occasion one of our clients comes in
and talks about how they're using our products.

Like the electronic conference, this facilitates a sense
of cameraderie and keeps everyone up-to-date on what's
happening. It's especially exciting when clients come in,
because it reminds us that there's a purpose to our work!

These two things have been incredibly helpful to us in documentation.
We have had flex time, no particular dress code, etc. for a long
time, and that's *great* -- most comments I'd make about those things
have already been covered by others. But for getting work done, nothing
beats management taking an interest in communication and teamwork.

Faith Weber
weber -at- easi -dot- enet -dot- dec -dot- com

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