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Subject:Re: managing writing groups From:Mark Baker <mbaker -at- OMNIMARK -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 10 Mar 1999 14:36:14 -0500
Danny J. Young wrote
>So my questions is thrown out to the more established Publication
>How do you manage the work load on a project?
>How do you evaluate the progress of a project? (How often)
>How do you evaluate a writer? (How often)
>How often does the whole team meet?
First and foremost, manage by walking around. Visit everyone who reports to
you at least once a day. I like to do it once at 10:30 and once around 3:00.
It may only be for 60 seconds. "How are you?" "How's it going?" "Do you need
anything?" "Bye". Because you are there twice a day, your reports won't
associate your presence with crisis or disaster and you will always know how
they are doing and where they are at in their projects. Crises won't sneak
up on you and you can adjust work loads before someone gets swamped
(assuming you have adequate total resources, which, of course, you never
will). In these meetings do not ask about or comment on the thing that is on
their screen or desk at the moment you walk in. This is not a spot
inspection. You are making yourself available and accessible to them, not
Second, read what they write. Don't be an editor. Comment only sparingly and
with an eye to long term development more than short term fixes. Let the
editors edit. This way you will know the quality of your writers and the
quality of their work.
Third, recognize that there are many forms of teams for many purposes and
each team should be managed according to its own nature and purpose.
Probably your writers are part of one or more product development teams.
They should be meeting with those teams regularly, and you need to make sure
that they do.
Make sure your staff are never afraid to show you their work or talk to you
about their problems. If you achieve that, you will have achieved just about
all you really need.
Manager, Technical Communication
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Canada, K1J 9B8
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com