Re: Producing Books

Subject: Re: Producing Books
From: John Posada <posada -at- FAXSAV -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:18:48 -0500

>When was the last time you ever heard of a boss or client telling the
>carpenter which tool he was allowed to use? How many times have you
>heard of a company giving its technical writers carte blanche to use
>whichever tool was specifically correct for the specific job at hand?

This is the case for the assignment I'm at now.

I needed to develop the documentation for a department. I told them that the documentation should be done in Frame. They were using Word. I'm using Frame 5.5.2 now. I told them that they should distribute the material internally via intranet in PDF. I'm doing that now and they gave me access to the network administrator to help me set it up. I told them that I want to create the intranet using FrontPage98. They were doing it via Notepad I am now using FP98. I told them I wanted to create the flowcharts and diagrams in Visio. They bought me Visio 5.0. With all of this, I needed more ram and disk space. 24 hours after request, they added 32mb ram to the 32 I had and gave me a second HD with 1.6gig.


If you go to management and just say "Iwant-Iwant-Iwant-Iwant, you will be told no most of the time.

HOWEVER...if you approach it through a solid business case and justification, most "good" companies will give you most of what you need (if not all).

What are their hot buttons....Staying ahead of competition? More market share? Strong commitment to Customer Service?

All of the things we're told makes us good technical communicators applies here:

Knowing your audience, communicating from a marketing standpoint (feature/benefit), etc.

>Obviously it's not good for the corporate pocketbook to have to
>purchase copy of Word, FrameMaker, Ventura, and PageMaker, for each Tech Writer
>on the payroll, and overall productivity will fall if each writer is

Why not if there is a solid business case for it.

When selling (and you are selling EVERY DAY to get what you want), management will not spend $5,000 if there is no return, but will spend $10,000 if there is a return of more than $10,000 in a reasonable period of time...usually 12-18 months.

John Posada, Technical Writer (and proud of the title)
The world's premier Internet fax service company: The FaxSav Global Network
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My opinions are mine, and neither you nor my company can take credit for them.

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