Re: Order Amongst Chaos (venting)

Subject: Re: Order Amongst Chaos (venting)
From: Kathryn Marshall <kmarshall -at- MODACAD -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 08:51:42 -0700

Oops. I was exaggerating. I didn't REALLY say "sure no problem". I made
it very clear to the Product Manager that the timeline was impossible
and that quality would be sacrificed if we churned something out in a
month, etc, etc. Believe me, I always speak up for our department and
defend it with facts. I've gotten a lot of emails about this, some sent
directly to me. Lots of people in the same boat. Like I had originally
said, I was venting.

Believe me, I have about the thickest skin around here. You have to have
one as a writer. I sent a memo around after I wrote this e-mail. It was
very diplomatic (don't worry!). I just made it clear how the doc
department works. We have a lot of new people in product management,
some of whom have no idea what we do.

Kathryn the Martyr (I like that -- has a nice ring to it)

> ----------
> From: Lydia Wong[SMTP:lydiaw -at- fpoint -dot- com]
> Sent: Monday, June 22, 1998 7:15 AM
> To: Kathryn Marshall; TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Order Amongst Chaos (venting)
> Kathryn Marshall writes:
> -------snip---------------
> I was just asked to write a manual today for a project that's been in
> development for the past 2 months. When do they need it? Oh, in less
> than a month. So of course, I said SURE NO PROBLEM.
> ------snip----------------
> I know we all have to go along sometimes to accomplish the goal of
> providing
> any documentation, but I have to think that if you say "Sure, no
> problem."
> when there is a BIG problem, you've missed a valuable opportunity to
> educate
> team members about what is necessary to create documentation.
> Next time, I'd consider saying something like: "We'll see what we can
> do,
> but by leaving us out of the development of the product and forcing us
> to
> create a document in such a short time frame, we're forced to
> sacrifice
> quality and content, and quite possibly accuracy."
> I understand the inclination to say you can work miracles, but that
> gives
> people the expectation that documentation *is* that easy, especially
> if you
> don't make it clear to them what kind of miracle they're expecting.
> My advice is to try not to make a martyr of yourself. This isn't
> personal:
> you're talking about the quality of the product, of which the
> documentation
> is a part.
> Lydia Wong
> Technical Writer
> FarPoint Technologies, Inc.

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