Re: Let Us Be Heard!

Subject: Re: Let Us Be Heard!
From: Kris Olberg <KJOlberg -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 19:11:59 -0400

In a message dated 95-10-23 16:51:50 EDT, O9AR -at- SDSUMUS -dot- SDSTATE -dot- EDU (Tracy
James) writes:

> What I would like from everyone is a list of grievances, and a way to solve

My short list:

1. Being brought into the development cycle too late, usually after the good
discussions about the real benefits/functionality of a product have already
been hammered out in meetings at which I was not an attendee. The solution is
obvious: Get us in early! I don't have numbers to back me up, but I suspect a
writer that gets in early spends the same amount of budget or slightly more
but puts out a much better product.

2. Being "patted" on the head for user interface improvement suggestions.
User interfaces are "information delivery" systems just like the
documentation. The thought of a machine operator pushing the "Abort" button
on the machine gives me shivers. The solution: The responsibility for solving
this lies with us. It is our job as technical communicators to develop
credibility in this area and then promote it. We can't just say, "We're good
at this! Listen to us!" We have to show credentials, classes, experience,
projects, papers, and on and on.

3. Being tied to the bottom line. We need to be viewed as having an affect on
the bottom line. When we aren't, we can quickly become expendable when the
project budget or time gets short. The solution: Once again, it's incumbent
on us to show this to management through education programs, cost/benefit
analyses, and so on.

Good luck with your article. Post a copy online after it's published or at
least let us know where we can find it.


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