Management Situation

Subject: Management Situation
From: Jim Grey <jwg -at- ACD4 -dot- ACD -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 1994 09:54:11 -0500

Gentle people,

Last fall, my company restructured a bit. The company didn't know what to
do with the Technical Writing department. We're still under an "interim"
arrangement many months later. We're able to work, but are finding it hard
to plan and grow.

A couple years ago, Technical Writing was moved from the "Network Services
Division" to "Product Engineering". At the time, we had a traditional
management situation, with a Technical Writing manager, a Test Engineering
manager, a Systems Engineering manager, and a management structure for
the huge Implementation Engineering group. The recent change tried to
slice the company the other way, by installing "project managers", and
assigning a (potentially fluid) staff per project.

There aren't enough writers here to assign one per project, so we kept our
vertical structure and now share our manager with a project team. The
project, of course, takes up almost all of our manager's time, so we don't
get the attention we once did. Worse, without a department manager to
help us stand strong for the issues important to us (which the Engineering
managers really aren't familiar with, being software developers), we find
ourselves under tremendous pressure to perform for these projects without
time to plan an overall documentation strategy.

Help! I ask you for advice, suggestions, stories, even a "I been there,
bud, and I sympathize":

o Have you worked under this kind of situation before? How did you
handle it?

o What sort of management structure do you work under now? What are its
pros and cons?

o If you got to arrange the writers in your company structure, how would
you do it and why?

I hope to find some nuggets in your replies which I can use to make my
situation here better. Thanks.

jim grey |beebeebumbleandthestingersmottthehoopleraycharlessingers
jwg -at- acd4 -dot- acd -dot- com |lonniemackandtwangandeddiehere'smyringwe'regoingsteadyta
GO/M d p+ c++(-) l u+ e- m*@ s+/ n+ h f++ g- w+@ t+ r- y+(*)
Terre Haute, IN -- The Silicon Cornfield

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