Re: Documentation Management

Subject: Re: Documentation Management
From: "Folena, Shannon" <SFolena -at- CKSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 16:33:17 -0700

Keith wrote:

...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. ...
>
> realize how difficult it would be getting info from
> information providers ...
>
> 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. ...
>
My response:

Keith, your situation sounds so similar to answering RFPs (not my
favorite thing to do either). To be able to answer RFPs, you also need
to approach the people within the company who have the answers. And
this task can indeed be challenging.

Here are some things I did:

- I sent an email message with the question and a deadline for a
response. When possible, I gave people one week.
- The day before the deadline, I sent an email message stating that I
was looking forward to their answers.
- The day after the deadline, I called.
- After I received their answers, I let them know how much I appreciated
their response -- sometimes with chocolate.

Yes, this did feel like baby-sitting. And I decided writing RFPs wasn't
my cup of tea. You may decide that your current situation isn't your
cup of tea either. But I'd recommend that you stick it out. You'll
gain something from the experience.

Good luck!
-- Shannon

Shannon Folena,
Technical Writer
C&K Systems, Inc., Folsom, CA
SFolena -at- CKSys -dot- com


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