Re: TW on the development team (long)

Subject: Re: TW on the development team (long)
From: "John P. Brinegar" <johnbri -at- PRIMENET -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 19:14:22 -0700

Susan Gallagher asked

>Has anyone who is in the position of tech-writer-on-the-development-
>team had positive growth opportunities? I may be all wet here (it's
>been known to happen ;-) ), but I see this "trend" as covert
>subjugation that we, as a profession, need to guard against.

Susan, if you suffered subjugation, you were probably not a member of a
real team. It is more likely that you were a member of an authority-driven
group of people disguised as a team. I have served on teams where all
members had an equal say in what the team did, and an equal stake in the
results of the team's work. Yes, if the team succeded, growth opportunities
were there.

There are great advantages in having representatives of everyone with a
stake in a develpment project (marketers, engineers, tech support people,
trainers, tech communicators, manufacturing people, and *customers*) being
equal members of the development team.

Yes, I have been on such teams. We were very successful in acheiving
customer satisfaction, though initial product shipments were quite late.

I'd be glad to discuss cross-functional teams, but I suggest that the
discussions be private unless we come up with something of real interest to
the list. This is because I'm concerned about getting into proprietary and
company-sensitive areas. I wrote an article on this for the STC Phoenix
chapter newsletter, which I could send to anybody who is interested.

John P. Brinegar,
Consulting and development
-Performance support systems
-Technical communications

Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
(602) 278-7398
johnbri -at- primenet -dot- com

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