Re: Value of a Technical Writer

Subject: Re: Value of a Technical Writer
From: Sean Fitzpatrick <Sean -dot- Fitzpatrick -at- SMED -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 16:32:44 -0500

"According to a study done by XX Company, expanding the Technical
Publications Department will save this company XX amount of dollars per
Service Technician, by reducing the number of calls that come in,

I doubt that any study or experience report will be phrased in terms of
expanding the department. If you throw that at any literate programming
manager, he's going to say "Mythical Man-month". What you might find are
studies and reports that say "We did this and such and measured this kind of
reduced cost/increased sales/happier customers". Pick some strategies that
seem applicable and then develop estimates of what it would cost to employ
people with the necessary skills.

STC publications, especially the ones other than Technical Communications,
carry these kinds of experience reports and professional advice articles. TC
might have some academic studies. Chapter newsletters also carry "How I . . "
articles. You can find some of them on the Web:, where N
is a region number. I know the Philadelphia Metro Chapter has its
award-winning newsletter, News & Views, on line:

Sean Fitzpatrick
Shared Medical Systems, Malvern, PA

*, or

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