Documentation Management

Subject: Documentation Management
From: "Thomas A Sklarsky, Technical Editor, Sacramento, CA (Thomas Sklarsky)" <sklarsky -at- USGS -dot- GOV>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 12:44:20 -0700


You should plan on leaving the company. If the IP employees are not mature
and professional -- even to new employees -- then can you imagine their
attitude after you've been working for the company for a while.
Furthermore, if upper management lacks the ability to give direction to the
IP people, then you are working for weak company.

Tom Sklarsky

From: Keith Bennett <bennettk -at- EROLS -dot- COM>
Date: Thursday, September 24, 1998 01:00
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.

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