Re: HELP TW --> Manager in onejump. Documentation Management

Subject: Re: HELP TW --> Manager in onejump. Documentation Management
From: George Mena <George -dot- Mena -at- ESSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:32:18 -0700

These are three words I absolutely love to hear as a lone tech writer:
Make it happen. :D This means I get to make up my own rules. It also
means I get to break my own rules as I see fit, should I have a
documentation emergency shoved down my throat. :D I don't see a problem
here. :D

That being said, here's how to begin:

1) Develop a work request form so that your internal customers know what
they need to give you in terms of source data and their desired
deadlines up front before any work begins. Make sure you get all
department heads to sign off on the work request form so everyone knows
the rules you want to establish and agrees with them. :D There will
always be someone in some department who will have special needs. The
key here is to be both accommodating and versatile. These objectives
are most compatible. :D

2) Make sure you keep copies of filled out work orders in a three-ring
binder so that you know what's been done and what still needs to be
done. Not only is this a great way to track your jobs, but it's also a
great tool for (A) showing the guy that signs your time card at the end
of the year what the heck you DID all year, and (B) showing upper
management why you should have your managerial status formalized and be
allowed to hire a couple of new tech writers of your own. :D

3) Be sure to coordinate your efforts with your document control people,
assuming the Document Control departmental function exists (it usually
does). Remember, one of the reasons you were brought on board was
because you have the sort of tech writing skills the DC folks don't have
(and, in many -- but not all -- cases, never will have). You'll have to
use the company's document numbering system, which has most likely been
in place a lot longer than you've been there. If the Doc Control folks
for some reason don't have an Excel spreadsheet set up on a server
somewhere for their document numbering system, suggest it to them and/or
implement such a system for yourself.

In setting up your own system, make sure your Excel spreadsheet includes
both a Master Document List and separate pages on the same spreadsheet
(that's what the tabs are for; labeling the separate pages) by form, fit
and function. Please note the following samples:

Sample By Product Line:
Master List / Automotive Products / Medical Products / Pressure Products

Sample By Shop Floor Breakdown:
Master List / Assembly Procedures / Die Fab Procedures / Test Procedures

Sample By Department:
Master List / Engineering / Finance / Human Resources / Marketing / QA

The best part of using an Excel spreadsheet is that you can have ALL of
these breakdowns on one spreadsheet! Makes for a great way to start a
database, do sorts, all sorts of stuff! :D Also, make sure you use at
least one of these variations to keep your diskette backups just as
organized. Remember, while Document Control is supposed to be the
proverbial "keepers of the docs", there are times when even the DC folks
will make a mistake and delete a document's soft copy file by accident.
You'll be the first person who'll be asked if you saved a copy. Be
ready for it, smile and be understanding about the whole thing: what
goes around comes around. :D Funny how karmic life can be, isn't it?
You'd want them to be there for you if the situation was reversed. :D

On that note, I hope Jack Bybee has fun being his own boss. :D That's
all I have. :D

George Mena

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jack Bybee [SMTP:editor -at- VICONET -dot- COM]
> Sent: Thursday, September 24, 1998 4:55 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: HELP TW --> Manager in onejump. Documentation
> Management
> To All:
[George Mena] snip

> Yesterday in a meeting I was told: "There is NO editorial process.
> You're it. You're writer, editor, (Document dept.) project manager.
> Make
> it happen. Next."
> HELP! What are the traps? What should I do? What should I not do? Any
> tips gladly accepted. Any books anyone can recommend.
[George Mena] snip

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

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