Consistency across work groups

Subject: Consistency across work groups
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 09:30:32 -0500

Rick Lippincott wondered what to do about consistency when
a single tech. pubs. department is split into five
independent groups. Two suggestions:

1. Unlikely: Do what the big companies do and create a
separate quality assurance (QA) or editing group.
Disadvantage: you'll have to hire an editor or
editor-wannabe, and your company may not buy this.
Advantage: Best likelihood of consistency and quality.

2. Likely: Create a corporate style guide, and implement as
much of it as possible through software (e.g., style
sheets), but don't stop there. Make each writing group
arrange peer reviews with another group (style, technical
checks) or even external review by your clients (usability
and appropriateness for audience). Disadvantage:
Potentially less effective than a good editor/QA group.
Advantage: You can get better reviews from outside the
group (i.e., no toes to step on) than from within (i.e.,
critical reviews make it hard to keep on good terms with
the neighbors).

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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