re: Ideal department

Subject: re: Ideal department
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 10:17:02 -0700 (PDT)

--- Teresa Scheuerman <t_scheuerman -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Tom - I think you have mis-paraphrased my original post - I'm currently in
> Client Services (which is separate from Marketing) and think I should be in
> Research and Development (which is separate from IT). The R&D manager seems
> to agree with us that we should be in his department. The move has been
> raised and at least my manager in Client Services and the President of the
> company didn't seem to like the idea.

My apologies for so badly misreading your post. I guess I'm just getting old.

The good news is that everybody seems to want your group's services, even if
some of them don't want to let you move closer to where your SMEs are. But
you've apparently done a creditable job of "training some of the SMEs. You may
get more of them on board as time goes on, but you'll probably never get them

From my experience, being in the R&D area would not necessarily improve that
situation. You'll probably always have some SMEs who will not think of the
writers often enough when new projects come along or changes occur in existing
ones. This situation seems to occur even where writers are integrated fully
onto teams. It's just the nature of the work, I guess. Some environments are
better than others, and one would think a smaller organization would make it
easier, but that hasn't been my experience. I take it as part of the job to
constantly "work the developers" (or whoever the SMEs are) to make sure that I
insert myself where I need to be to get at information for the documentation.

Maybe you don't want to push the point about working for R&D rather than Client
Services. Not all battles are worth fighting.

But to get back to part of what I think is your original question, I don't
think it is a benefit to work for R&D (or IT or Development or whatever you
will find they call it) over a Services organization. SMEs always forget to
pass on information or the information is late or the changes come late in the
cycle or whatever. Some things will never be in your control.

The best hope you have of increased visibility is that it grows as individuals
see that you save them work directly. You can help them see that, but some are
always going to be harder to convince than others.

Again, I apologize for not being more careful in my earlier posting.

Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com

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