Re: Organizational Oddity

Subject: Re: Organizational Oddity
From: "Beckman, Laura - Broomfield, CO" <Laura -dot- Beckman -at- CEXP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 09:28:25 -0700

Jane Lorenzen wrote the following pertaining to internal software
development and tech writing:
>When my manager asked me what the solution might be, I said, "I.S.
>should have tech writers. They'd produce and update docs as systems are
>developed and updated." So now he wants me to "write something up" for
>his manager.

I'm in the same boat. I'm lucky though, because our I.S. release
coordinator already knew that having a permanent documentation staff
would 1) give developers more time to focus on what they do best
(although they still have to review documentation) 2) ensure that
documents get created, and on time, and 3) ensure that documentation is
complete and usable. The documentation person also acts a liaison
between the developers and the support personnel (end users). It's
great to have my audience right here in the building so I can ask them
what their needs are and then make sure I get that information from the
developers and into the documentation.

Watch out though, because once you do have a in-house I.S. documentation
staff, there are many other tasks (admin) that shouldn't be overlooked:
filenaming standards, style guidelines, network structure, security of
documents, scheduling, and so on. These tasks though are another
feature of what an I.S. tech writer adds to the process that you can
promote. Organizing all of these tasks helps to ensure that your
audience gets what they need to do their jobs, and when they can perform
their jobs more effectively, the bottom line is affected in a way
management understands: our company is more efficient=our company
makes/saves money.

Laura Beckman
Senior Technical Writer, Information Systems
Corporate Express
laura -dot- beckman -at- cexp -dot- com
All opinions are my own, not necessarily those of Corporate Express.

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