Re: Tech Writers as Project Mgrs.

Subject: Re: Tech Writers as Project Mgrs.
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 13:53:21 EST

One additional reason why tech writers can be project managers: sometimes, we
are the only ones that have the "big picture."

I'll fall back on my aerospace experience for reference. The Lockheed C-5
Galaxy is a big, complex beast, composed of many interacting systems. Each
system is developed by a separate engineering team, and these teams as a rule
don't communicate issues to each other.

Although there were project managers in charge of the entire program, the
airplane is a big-ticket item, and often only the biggest issues get up to that

Many more times, we'd get input from the engineering groups, and have to
resolve conflicts. The avionics group might send us data on a change, and
we'd have to contact them and say "That's not going to work, because two months
ago the hydraulics people put a pump in that exact same location." Or, more
than likely "That wont work on the airplanes built in 1971, because they have
the dual-control snarkfabble, while the rest of the fleet has triple-control
snarkfabbles." (Of course, we knew this in tech pubs as we were maintaining
procedures for both configurations....)

Anyway, after a few years of doing that, you've got the most important part
of project management under control: the ability to see the entire scope of
the project at one time.

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
Beverly, MA
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com

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