Re: Documentation Management

Subject: Re: Documentation Management
From: Sharon Burton <sharonburton -at- EMAIL -dot- MSN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 16:15:21 -0700

Having accepted a similar challenge once, I recommend that you nicely
provide them with 2 weeks notice, offer to help them find your replacement,
write a letter detailing why you are leaving (give it to management if
possible), and get the he** out of there. Nightmares and endless frustration
await you.

I have said this a million times: If the company doesn't value their docs,
there is nothing that you can do. I repeat, nothing you can do. The
situation will not get better, only worse as people start to get upset with
the "pushing" you do to get the info you need to do your job. Finally,
people will not talk to you under any circumstances.

BTW - I lasted 11 weeks with the challenge I took on. I started and was
moved from 8 projects in that time. At the end of 11 weeks, I was having
nightmares and other sleep problems, my nerves were shot and my stomach hurt
all the time. I lost 15 pounds. And they didn't like that fact that I never
finished a project. I tactfully pointed out that the projects were
reassigned to someone else so I could work on a higher priority project way
before they could have been finished. With an average of 10 days per
project, it is small wonder I never finished anything...

The client doesn't show up on my list. Nice people but they didn't care at
all about docs.


Sharon Burton
Anthrobytes Consulting
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-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Bennett <bennettk -at- EROLS -dot- COM>
Date: Wednesday, 23 September, 1998 4:00 PM
Subject: Documentation Management

>Hello Everyone:
>I need a little advice. I recently landed a contract with a large firm
>to prepare presentations and write various pieces of technical
>documentation, such as marketing requirements. When I was interviewed
>for the position, I was told by the manager(s) that I would have to
>interview various employees in the company for information on what
>requirements would have to go into the documentation I was responsible
>for writing. I was warned too that getting the information I needed
>would not be easy. Having been through this process before, I accepted
>the contract and rolled up my sleeves to tackle a new challenge.
>I did not, however, realize how difficult it would be getting info from
>information providers at this company. In fact, the managers who hired
>me found it difficult themselves to get the information they needed. I
>sat in on initial meetings with the managers and the staff seemed to
>give them very little respect or a quick response to their requests.
>Sure enough, after three weeks on the job, and having to juggle more
>than one extensive writing task at a time, I was told that I was not
>getting a particular document completed quickly enough. When I responded
>that I had a difficult time getting information from IP people, I was
>then told that although I had excellent writing skills, I was not
>agressive enough with the IPs in the company. I would have to become
>more agressive.
>My two questions are: is the writer a manager as well as writer, and
>also, should I walk away from this project which seems to be more
>documentation management (even though the IPs seem to value this process
>to a small degree), or try to slug it out. It seems as though I've got
>to beg, plead, and become a real SOB, write well, and provide graphic
>design skills for this position all at once. Am I Super Technical Writer
>here or what? Help.
>From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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