Re: Proofreading Everything Under the Sun-- A TWs responsibility?-- Please Help!

Subject: Re: Proofreading Everything Under the Sun-- A TWs responsibility?-- Please Help!
From: Penny Staples <pstaples -at- AIRWIRE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 10:10:34 -0500

I agree, you probably can't take on this new work in your current
circumstances. But ... you could prepare a case for hiring more Tech Writers
and re-organizing how the work is done. It could be a great opportunity, if
you can convince management to make more effective use of Technical Writers.

If different consultants are preparing the documents each time, and their
focus is not on Technical Communication, I would guess that
- there's a lot of work being repeated, and
- there's no consistency in format, organization or level of detail in the
documents they're producing.

Is this why they want you folks to "proofread" it? They're assuming you can
just wave your magic tech writing wands, and fix their stuff? If so, at
least management has recognized that there's a problem, but they're trying
to fix things from the wrong end. A writer needs to be a clearly recognized
team member from the beginning of a project -- writing the basic server
configuration and design documents as part of the team, rather than just
"proofreading" documents. This is an area where Technical Writers could
really help improve how your company does things.

It'll all depend on whether or not you can convince management and the
consultants that this is all in their best interests, and that you need to
hire a few more writers. Good luck with it!

Penny Staples
pstaples -at- airwire -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
From: Gina Hertel <Ghertel -at- ALPHA88 -dot- COM>
Date: May 22, 1998 8:57 AM
Subject: Proofreading Everything Under the Sun-- A TWs responsibility?-- P
lease Help!

>Hello, All.
>Our company does consulting work for migrations, upgrades, installs, and
>like. Some people think that every server configuration, site survey,
>conceptual, logical, and functional design, disaster recovery procedure,
>etc. etc. etc. that is written by a consultant should be "proofread" by a
>technical writer before delivery to the client (even if the TW isn't listed
>as a resource on the project). What do you think? Do other companies do
>this? Then they want the TW to archive the documentation too.
>I see the following problems:
>1.) We have 100 consultants and 2 writers. Can you say "bottleneck"?
>2.) If the TW isn't listed as a resource, the client isn't paying for
>his/her services, which devalues them.
>3.) TWs are also responsible for Proposals, Courseware, the Corporate
>Intranet, Any Internal Communication (from the EE handbook to Creating
>for Sales), User Guides, Presentations, Production, and any and all dirty
>work. Where are the priorities? How much more can we throw into the mix?
>4.) Who wants to do nothing all day but be a wordsmith, cleaning up after
>consultants and filing their papers electronically?
>I am in desperate need of feedback here.

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