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In article <9609031423 -dot- AA10982 -at- btrd -dot- bostech -dot- com>, Rick Lippincott
<rjl -at- bostech -dot- com> writes:
|> Well, we all know the old motto of business: "When in doubt,
|> reorganize." It's struck my company this weekend.
|> Up until Friday, my entire tech writing career has been with
|> companies where all of the tech writers were in one department
|> answering to one manager.
|> There are now five software development teams, each team has a number
|> of tech writers.
|> What are the pitfalls that I should whatch out for? What are the
|> lessons learned that you can send to me? Any suggestions on how to
|> make this work with a minimum of trouble?
You've left out some key information. *Why* did your company reorganize?
A lot of companies go to this sort of arrangement in order to make the
documentation more "responsive" to product deadlines (this translates to
less lead time, more review cycles, and changes in the product up to the
last minute). Other companies prefer to have, or think they need, more
specialized subject matter expertise in group writers (which translates
to more meddling by engineers, developers, and other SME's in your text).
If you tell me what the company was trying to accomplish by
reorganizing, I bet I can give a pretty accurate read on what the
pitfalls are for *you*.
In general, when you are all chopped up into smaller units, you will be
competing for resources amongst yourselves, and will be under more
pressure to reduce the number of writers in each group. This will strike
you as ironic, since decentralizing is usually a less efficient
structure, necessitating more writers rather than less (even though
there may be good reasons to decentralize). And now, your work will be
measured against the work of the most efficient or prolific group.
In any event, good luck.
Len Olszewski My opinions; you go get your own.
saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com
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