Re: Management disagreement RE: HTML

Subject: Re: Management disagreement RE: HTML
From: Stephanie Holland <SLHOLLAND -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 17:59:23 -0700

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll let you know how this gets resolved.

Actually, the manager I've referred to isn't my direct manager. He's two
people above me. I admit I was a little irked when I sent my original
email, but I hope I didn't give everyone the impression that I wanted to
argue with this guy or "win" or go "behind his back." There's more
background to this situation than I could provide in a short email.

I will make a serious effort, though, to try to find out what this
manager's goals are and what his thinking is. It's just frustrating
because I had a meeting with him and several other high-level managers
about this issue several months ago, and I and the other managers
thought it was resolved then.

Because this manager is not listening to me, I thought gathering the
knowledge of others in the technical communication field might help him
realize that my ideas are valid.

Thanks again for your suggestions. I'll let you know what happens. :- )

Stephanie

>----------
>From: Susan W. Gallagher[SMTP:sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM]
>Sent: Thursday, January 09, 1997 5:34 PM
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>Subject: Re: Management disagreement RE: HTML
>
>Stephanie,
>
>I can certainly understand your not wanting to relinquish the
>responsibility of coding in HTML. It's a valuable skill to have
>in our occupation and you probably feel (and rightfully so) that
>you would be less employable without it. Additionally, you certainly
>don't want to give up the control that you now have over your docs.
>
>However, going behind your new manager's back isn't going to foster
>the kind of trust and respect the two of you need to develop for each
>other if you are going to form a good working relationship. And if you
>don't form that relationship *quickly*, you'll soon need to put that
>HTML skill on your resume and start looking for a new position. Having
>a new manager who doesn't talk to you isn't really a good sign of job
>security.
>
>If I were you, I'd try to find out the reasoning behind his plans.
>Perhaps he sees the current intranet as a jumble of disassociated
>pages and feels the need to impose some order. Perhaps most of his
>work experience has been at large companies where job duties were
>parceled out in a very orderly fashion and most employees had only
>one hat to wear.
>
>Rather than argue -- a losing proposition from the outset -- try
>this:
>
>Find out what the new manager's goals are. Learning "why" not only
>makes new decisions easier to accept, it also makes it possible to
>find a compromise.
>
>Explain your concerns, not so much regarding "control" of the document
>text, although that can certainly be a *small* part of it, but from the
>career growth and opportunity point of view. Few managers, when
>approached
>with legitimate concerns about career growth and employability, will
>discount those concerns. They deal with these issues in their own
>careers
>and understand the repercussions. They also want to keep their
>employees
>motivated. At least *good* managers do. Turnover is expensive.
>
>(And, yes, it's true, Mr. Manager. Technical writers *do* code in HTML.
>As more and more software communicates to the user through the user
>interface -- with graphics, bubble help, status line help, message
>boxes, pop-up online help, etc. -- the line between coding and
>documenting
>becomes more and more indistinct. Some of us even edit C++ code!)
>
>Find out what the folks in webtech think. Are they anxious to take on
>the
>additional responsibilities of converting your docs to HTML or do they
>anticipate being swamped by the additional work load? Have they been
>asked
>to assume coding responsibility for the entire company?
>
>Once you have all the information you need, brainstorm a compromise
>that
>will be acceptable to all concerned. For example, if continuity and a
>cohesive look and feel are an issue, you could work with webtech to
>create a style sheet and coding standards for all your web docs. Once
>that's accomplished, docs could continue coding in HTML and submit
>their work to webtech as a finished product that fits seamlessly into
>the overall plans for the intranet. Docs might even want to offer their
>services to webtech as backup coders to handle peaks in webtech's work
>load.
>
>If you approach the problem with all the professional demeanor at your
>disposal, you should be able to reach a compromise that's acceptable to
>all. However, there are always some situations that are uncompromisable
>and unwinable. If that turns out to be the case, and I sincerely hope
>that
>it isn't, recognize that the business world is not a democracy, that
>the manager always wins, whether his victory is good for the company or
>not, and that it may, indeed, be time to pack up and move on.
>
>Please keep us posted. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's interested
>in how this problem gets resolved.
>
>
>
>
>Susan W. Gallagher Manager, Technical Publications
>sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com Expersoft Corporation, San Diego CA
> http://www.expersoft.com
>
>
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
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>

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