RE: Improving colleagues' writing skills

Subject: RE: Improving colleagues' writing skills
From: Robert Heath <rheath -at- eGain -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 14:07:13 -0800

In my company, the SMEs usually write the most technical stuff in Word and
pass the docs to our Pubs department for repairs. We get documents in many
different formats, as well as with myriad different ways to refer to file
directories, buttons, and other elements. These we have to convert to
FrameMaker files and then clean up. We decided to give the engineers a very
simple Word template, along with instructions on how to create tables, when
to use bullets and when to use numbered lists, and a few other very basic
matters. They didn't mind too much because we weren't asking them to
accomodate to anything complex, and we benefit from docs that are much more
consistent than they used to be.

Talk the idea over with the product managers and even let them set the limit
for how much to include in the template. Then distribute it to team leaders
and let them send it to the SMEs who write the docs. This way, it doesn't
seem like an arrogant editorial fiat on the part of a pubs dept. interested
in increasing their value in their own eyes. Everyone relevant has had a
chance to participate in planning the change.

GOOD, adj. Sensible, madam, to the worth of this present writer.
Alive, sir, to the advantages of letting him alone.
--Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lean Ni Chuilleanain [mailto:lnc -at- nua -dot- ie]
> Sent: Friday, December 03, 1999 9:42 AM
> Subject: Improving colleagues' writing skills
> Hi -
> There's been talk recently on this list about the importance
> of editing and
> proofreading in making sure that documentation conveys a good
> impression.

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