Re: : SME Flee, We Tree He

Subject: Re: : SME Flee, We Tree He
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 08:07:16 PST

Steve Victor writes:

>Just out of curiousity, how many of these approaches (from the rather
>odd "camping out" threat to the job-threatening "reassign me"
>suggestion) have you actually tried? They seem like rather drastic
>alternatives to establishing good communication early in the project.

I've never tried the camping-out strategy, because I'm far too lazy.

I've done all the others. They don't interfere with establishing
good communications early in the project because:

a) For me, these problems never come up until later in the project, and

b) The project team meeting, while generally useless, is helpful in applying
increasing pressure on SMEs. You progress from, "Our project is on time,
the document is out for review -- it's due Thursday, guys -- and we
should have no trouble bringing it in on time" to "A lot of review
copies are late, so the documentation has slipped by a week," to
"We still don't have the review copies, so our documentation will
be four weeks late" to "Don't call us, we'll call you." Management
eventually intervenes and asks the engineers to do something.

For this to work, you need to do your up-front work. Do not begin working
on a document without a plan. This plan should involve a specific
agreement by engineering management that they will support your
documentation effort, including all the specific things you have listed
(pre-draft support, review, sign-off, etc.). If you have no management
commitment, you are, in essence, a beggar asking for charity from the
other departments. I you have received commitment, it's part of their
job to help you. You should sign up the individual engineers, too, of
course, but it's critical that management not backstab you and instruct
the engineers to blow you off (which happens all the time).

-- Robert
--
Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139
http://www.pioneer.net/~robertp

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