Corporate writing groups

Subject: Corporate writing groups
From: Alex Soast <Alexander -dot- N -dot- Soast -at- DREXEL -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 1997 12:25:58 -0500

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?

Initially this sounds like a nuisance, because, quite frankly, it is a
nuisance. But remember that knowing about a diversity of your company's
products makes you a more valuable employee - in other words more difficult
to lay off.

However, this system does sound like a good way of preventing some writers
from being idle during slow periods. My suggestion is that each writer
should be assigned to only one or two new departments. This allows each
writer to gain at least some expertise with the newly assigned product.
This way, when Department X needs a fill-in writer, the Dept. X manager
always calls on the same one or two writers, rather than getting someone
totally unfamiliar with the product each time.

Who knows, maybe the product that you are expert in will be discontinued?
Then you'll be glad that you have the knowledge and connections to transfer
easily to another department.

Working with a new group also gives you an opportunity to learn some
successful management styles that you may want to suggest to your boss.
You may also suggest methods from your department to your new boss that may
improve operations in your secondary department. This is an opportunity to
shine for another supervisor/executive.

Admittely, you will not be able to write docmuments about your newly
assigned product as quickly as you write about the familiar product. The
new manager should understand this and take the learning curve into
account. If not, gently remind this manager. Perhaps the reassigned
writers, with a fresh eye, would serve well as editors.

Good Luck!

Alex Soast
Alexander -dot- N -dot- Soast -at- Drexel -dot- edu

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