Re: Radical Idea?

Subject: Re: Radical Idea?
From: Marilyn O'Leary <moleary -at- LSUVM -dot- SNCC -dot- LSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 09:07:16 -0500

To John Bell and all interested parties who think John's is a radical idea:

>So, hypothetically speaking, would you as a tech writer enjoy a job
>where you were doing technical writing, client training, and client
>technical support? If the company grows larger and the opportunity to
>split into separate disciplines arises, should we split and which
>discipline(s) would you want to work in?

As a tech writer, I do enjoy doing tech writing and client training
although I don't do client technical support. ( The difference is that we
are not a software company.) I think the team concept is always good, but
the structure of your company says your employer does not think in teams.
A team in the middle of hierarchical structure can create problems for the
team and problems for the other departments around them because these are
two radically different ways to work. Petty jealousies, questions about pay
scales, equivalent ranking with other departments for all-company meetings
or special events ... all the things that have LITTLE to do with DOING THE
JOB begin to cause little problems that fester and pretty soon they become
big problems. I suggest you follow your boss' suggestion, hire
structurally. Later, if the opportunity opens up to do a project while
working with at least one other department in the firm, make the team
concept work - a company success using a different management method. BTW,
If the folks you hire are flexible, you can reorganize into a team
structure later. You don't have to be small to work in teams. Shell Oil Co.
corporately works just that way, and they are an international
organization. (They made the switch about five years ago, and believe it or
not, it was mandated from the Top!) Marilyn

Marilyn Barrett O'Leary
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
moleary -at- lsuvm -dot- sncc -dot- lsu -dot- edu

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