Marketing vs Development (was RE: Certification)

Subject: Marketing vs Development (was RE: Certification)
From: bphuettner -at- WSICORP -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996 08:50:10 EST

For the past three years, I have reported to the Product Marketing
group, which in turn reports to the V.P. of Sales and Marketing. I
started as the first Technical Writer, and eventually hired a second
writer. It has worked out very well so far, partly because the
Product Marketing group is quite technical, responsible for defining
product features, working closely with the developers and QA, and
often helping with customer support, installation, and training. I
get to talk to - and even VISIT - customers when necessary, and have
travelled more than I ever did as a part of other development teams.

Of course, we have the same problems as many of you do: getting the
SMEs to respond to questions, receiving review drafts in a timely
manner, keeping informed of feature "enhancements", too much to write
in too short a time, etc.

Things are changing here, though. We just hired a new V.P. of
development, who took over what he calls the Tech Pubs group as of
3/15. He has instituted many procedures such as the use of resource
allocation charts and other formal planning tools.

Personally, I chose to remain in Product Marketing. I've been
assigned my own products, and have been writing marketing material,
sales information, product bulletins, and release notes instead of
manuals. I've given demos and run training sessions. I even got to
make a promotional video tape, and am starting work on a
"self-install" package. New, different, interesting. But no longer
part of the (now one-person) Tech Pubs group. It will be a while
before we see if moving Documentation from Marketing to Development
was a good idea or not.

Brenda Huettner
(now) Product Marketing
bphuettner -at- wsicorp -dot- com

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