Re: TW on the development team (long)

Subject: Re: TW on the development team (long)
From: Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 23:33:51 GMT

In article <v02120d0aad079549a938 -at- [192 -dot- 231 -dot- 76 -dot- 51]>,
Susan W. Gallagher <sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com> wrote:
[snip most of the article]

Good grief, Sue! Did you win the lotto for bad-experience-of-1995? What
a group of turkeys.

>Has anyone who is in the position of tech-writer-on-the-development-
>team had positive growth opportunities?

Yes. Our facility uses the writing team approach with a reasonable
degree of success. Of course, at the time the idea was "developed", we
had management who was willing to take advantage of the writers'
expertise. For the most part,
our writers are treated as subject matter experts on format and style.
We've also given the technical editor signature authority equal with the
other SMEs.

Personnally, I was involved in writing a procedure for a new alarm system
several years ago. The engineers and manager were willing to accept my
recommendations on what was involved with writing the procedure. As a
result, they let me set a realistic schedule, we reviewed the daylights
out of the procedure before it ever went out for review, and we issued
the document early.

Before I make it sound like I'm working in the ideal situation <g>, we
have had circumstances where the team approach does not work. In most
cases, either the writer wasn't experienced enough to act as group
facilitator, or management didn't perceive the need for writer expertise
(they wanted a word processor).

So I guess the answer to your question would be: Yes, the team approach
works very well WHEN you've got upper management support (and someone who
is willing to rein in anyone with a god-complex).

>been known to happen ;-) ), but I see this "trend" as covert
>subjugation that we, as a profession, need to guard against.

If it is misused, yes. But then, aren't we the defenders of the faith
(so to speak) for clear communication? Good luck. I hope you have
better experience next time. Your programmer sounds as "helpful" as some
of our engineers.

Nancy Lynn Hayes (nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov) Carpe Diem
Seize the Day!


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