Re: TW Classifications

Subject: Re: TW Classifications
From: Robbie Rupel <ROBBIE -at- NENE2 -dot- CMS-STL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 16:43:28 CST6CDT

On April 20, 1995, Tamera writes...

> Gina brings up a topic of interest to me. My company has quite a few
> writers, operating at various levels, but all given the same title and job
> description. Since we have recently been split from a centralized writing
> group into the various product development group, we are working at
> increasing the company's level of awareness about what we have to offer and
> our importance in product development.

> One tool some of us believe would help is new job titles. Technical
> Communicator does seem to imply to some that we are technical secretaries.
> Recently, when a writer was assigned to a product support process
> improvement committee, the committee chair announced that he was glad a
> writer was there to take notes! Another factor is that the programmers have
> 6 or 7 levels of titles and responsibility, while we have only one. Another
> sign that our work is not adequately valued.

> Has anyone received, or heard of, good job titles for writers? Some that I
> have come across are Knowledge Engineer, Information Designer, Information
> Analyst.

My company has recently reorganized into the team concept. The
technical writers have been decentralized and assigned to individual
teams. We are also wrestling with the same issues described above.

The current proposal to address the problem is to create the same levels of
titles as exist for the other team members. For example:

Assistant Software Engineer Assistant Technical Writer
Software Engineer Technical Writer
Senior Software Engineer Senior Technical Writer
Team Leader Team Leader

We are trying to define what goes in to each level and what
determines how you move to the next level. We are particularly
interested in the qualifications for moving to Team Leader, as there
can be only one leader per group. (The original proposal was for the technical
writer to develop experience programming, but the software engineer
had no requirements to learn about technical writing!)

Getting to this point has not been easy, and I am not sure it will
work. I think I will feel better about it once the qualifications
have been hammered out.

Let me know what you all think about this proposal.

P.S. At a previous job, I too had someone say that they were glad I
wasd there to take notes. Much to their surprise, I took
terrible notes (I made it a point to be active in the discussions and
"forgot" to write things down). I was not asked to take notes again.

These words are my own and do not reflect the opinions or positions of the
company for which I work....

Robbie Rupel
Senior Technical Writer
Computerized Medical Systems, Inc.
robbie -at- cms-stl -dot- com

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