new task - getting involved early

Subject: new task - getting involved early
From: Thom Remington <remingtf -at- ENGG-MAIL -dot- LVS -dot- DUPONT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 09:00:21 -0400

Misti Delaney just posted a question about what to do when given the
opportunity to get involved right up front.

Short answer: grab it! Do it! Get in there!

Longer answer: I did a presentation at STC 95 on just this topic. I was then
working with engineers (civil engineers). I had worked with this group of
folks for about a year and had established credibility with them. I proposed
getting involved up front, touting the advantage that they wouldn't have to
write anything at all. They jumped at the chance!

What I did was to schedule brainstorming sessions. I taped the sessions
(audio only), keep notes, and have someone make notes on a chart pad. After
the meetings, I spent considerable time transcribing from the tape,
collecting, collating, organizing, reorganizing, and reorganizing some more.

I don't know that my job took any less time than it had when I would get
something a group of engineers had written, but it was easier and far more
rewarding. One thing I noticed was that the engineers were far more open to
changes when *they* weren't the ones who'd put the words on the paper. When
they put words on paper, they can get into defending the words; when I put
words on paper, they didn't worry about it any more, focusing instead on
content and clarity.

Good luck!

Thom Remington remingtf -at- engg -dot- dnet -dot- dupont -dot- com
DuPont External Affairs
Information Design & Development
Speaking for myself, not for DuPont.

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