Re: Corporate writing group structure

Subject: Re: Corporate writing group structure
From: Jason Huntington <JasonH -at- CAPTURA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 13:23:27 -0700

When I was a writer at WordPerfect Corporation, documentation managers
were writers/editors who no longer wrote or edited (much) and who
managed groups of 15 to 23 writers and editors. Group managers reported
to Senior Doc Managers. Groups were assigned to broad product teams.
Editors were proofreaders and project managers. Writers reported to the
doc manager and participated with teams in various projects.

When Novell bought WordPerfect, the documentation groups split off to
various business units but their reporting structures stayed.

When I transferred from GroupWare (a legacy WordPerfect division) to
Client Engineering Doc in another Novell division, my manager was an
engineer cum writer. She had writing assignments like the rest of us
and additional duties such as scheduling and evaluating us. Our group
was disbanded.

I was then assigned to a team of 30+ engineers for whom I provided
everything in the way of doc.

Now I'm with a small company. I report to the Manager of Creative
Services. Our Creative Services group forms part of Marketing. One of
us provides copy for advertising and promotional pieces. Another
authors web structure and content. I am responsible for our standard
product documentation. Still another writer customizes our standard doc
for OEMs, writes small pieces in support of marketing and product
management efforts, and ensures consistency between the doc and training
materials. We all report to a manager who is neither a writer nor
engineer, but rather a marketing manager with project management and
presentation development skills.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Kohl [SMTP:sasjqk -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM]
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 1997 5:46 AM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Re: Corporate writing group structure

In article <19971001231711 -dot- 25876 -dot- qmail -at- hotmail -dot- com>, Larry Weber
<larry_weber -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM> writes:
|> Former or current corporate techwhirlers,
|>
|> Presently, the writers in our company are assigned to a
particular
|> product. These writers report to the product manager. One of
the
|> management honchos wants to hire a Writing Manager and have
all writers
|> report to that person. This would allow them to distribute
writers to
|> different products more efficiently. It's said that the
writers will be
|> "experts" in a particular product, but will help out as
needed on
|> others.
|>
|> I'm not exactly thrilled about this. I like to dig my teeth
into a
|> product and contribute to the design--something I fear will
be difficult
|> if I'm being reassigned to different products often.
|>
|> Anyone have any experience--good or bad--in such a
transition?

Well, just from my own experience, I know that when I am
familiar with
the product that I am documenting, I can work probably 50%
faster than
if I'm writing about a product for the first time. There are
far fewer
questions that I have to ask of developers, and I can produce a
better
quality doc because I can detect more of the inconsistencies and
errors
that reviewers often overlook or don't care about.

However, if your company, like mine, has a lot of different
products
and writers to juggle around, then the one-product, one-writer
approach
might leave some writers relatively idle for long periods of
time. In
that case, the "distributed" approach might be a necessary evil.
And it
is probably good to have more than one person familiar with a
given
product, so that if your "expert" leaves, your quality and
efficiency
don't suffer so much right away.


John Kohl


TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a
message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send
commands
to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF
TECHWR-L).
Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or
search and
browse the archives at
http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html
Send list questions or problems to the listowner at

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and
browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html


Previous by Author: Responses to web style guide question
Next by Author: Architecture Design Document Template
Previous by Thread: Re: Corporate writing group structure
Next by Thread: Re: Corporate writing group structure


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads