Management disagreement RE: HTML

Subject: Management disagreement RE: HTML
From: Stephanie Holland <SLHOLLAND -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 12:07:01 -0700

Hi all --

This is going to sound like a strange question, but let me assure you
that it is not coming from me, but rather from one of the top managers
in our Information Technology Department. This manager's background is
in sales. He is not familiar with technical communication or the new
changes taking place in the field.

He won't listen to our Technical Communication group, so I am trying to
gather responses from other people to show him.

Here's the situation:

Our Technical Communication group writes online help, user manuals,
intranet web pages and other documents for users within our company,
which is Micron Electronics.

We always write our documentation using RoboHelp or HTML unless there's
a need for paper documentation, and in that case we use FrameMaker. We
publish the online documentation on our company's intranet server.

Our department also has a group called the Web Technology group that
helps departments within our company publish web pages on our intranet.
For instance, employees in our Human Resources Department might need
help in publishing our employee handbook in HTML. The Web Technology
group employees are not writers and editors. They call themselves
"analysts." They help other departments learn HTML and get set up on our
intranet.

The problem:

This top manager I refer to wants our Technical Communication group to
write our documentation in MS Word (which we use only with RoboHelp) and
then give the files to the Web Technology group. Then the Web Technology
group would convert the files to HTML and publish them on our intranet.
He thinks this should be a two-step process (instead of one) and that
the conversion to HTML and publishing on the intranet should be done
AFTER we write our documents.

I'd like to hear your responses. Some of my reasons are: this doesn't
need to be a two-step process; this would make editing documents
difficult; Word docs converted to HTML would still require someone to
tweak them; we're starting to create HTML help. This manager and I have
met about this in the past, but I guess he didn't listen to me. He's
been avoiding me lately and going around me with this issue. I plan to
take my new ammunition and meet with him again.

Sorry this was so long, but I think it's an interesting technical
communication issue and I need some support from colleagues! When you
respond, please include your title and company's name. This manager I've
referred to is impressed by those types of things. Thanks for your time.

Stephanie Holland
Technical Communication Group Supervisor
Micron Electronics
slholland -at- micron -dot- com

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