SME's, Product Managers & Editors - Help!

Subject: SME's, Product Managers & Editors - Help!
From: Michelle Vina-Baltsas <Michelle_Vina-Baltsas -at- US -dot- CRAWCO -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 16:50:58 -0500

Hi all!

I'm a lone TW and I'm trying to refine my role for my manager. There are
areas (such as pruduct logos, printing) that I want to get involved in,
that currently are the product managers responsibility. There is some
confusion within my company about the role of the subject matter expert
(SME), product manager, and technical editor. Currently, our SME serves as
part-time technical editor. (To help me with the technical editor part I'm
reading Judith Tarutz's "Technical Editing", which is very helpful. ) Our
SME, although knows the software applications fairly well, has too much on
her plate. Because of this, she takes an unreasonable amount of time
editing documents, among many other annoying things that trip me up. For
many reasons I feel that she is a bottle neck in the documentation
production cycle, and I would like to see that change.

What's my point... how do you all define the role of SME, product manager,
and technical editor? Again, I realize that not all shops are run the same
way, but I'd love to hear how yours is run. I should mention again that I
am a lone TW, and work as a corporate resource in a different part of the
country than both my managers.
This company has had several TW's before, but none of them have really been
serious about the job. Many of my requests are firsts, and so far my
primary manager (my other manager is the SME) has been very responsive to
me and my ideas for improving our documenation. I realize that our roles
as TW's can vary a great deal, but in order for me to make a case for some
of the things I want to get my hands on, I need proof that these are
reasonable requests.

As always, thanks for your input!


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