Working globally

The big picture is coming together. Development teams in seven different locations round the world, contracted technical writers in some locations, none in others and a product line that is merging… why that all sounds like a challenge! I’m still in discussion about how we will gather information from disparate teams using different processes (some use SCRUM, we use a blend of waterfall and ‘Agile’), still trying to figure out what our deliverables will be and how they will be delivered so whilst it’s been a few weeks now, it doesn’t feel like things have changed all that much, apart from now knowing that bar one technical writer in Ireland, my team are THE team. By my reckoning that makes …

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A letter to my blog

Dear neglected blog, I’m sorry I struggle to find the time to talk to you these days, I really am. I don’t do much writing elsewhere either so please don’t feel I’m cheating on you, although.. well that saucy minx Twitter is always good for a cheap thrill but I know that is just a bit of fun and won’t last… OK, the truth is I have been writing somewhere else, somewhere more private, and I guess that’s distracted from what I’d usually talk about here. Don’t worry, whilst life continues to have ups and downs I’m taking care of myself and fundamentally I know I’m a very very lucky guy. I’m happy and glad to be here on this …

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Olympic PMA

The Olympics are over, and whilst we wait for the Paralympics to start, I think it’s fair to say that the Olympics were a much bigger event than I realised. I’m sure the successes of Team GB contributed but even without that, the coverage by the BBC, and the overall feeling of euphoria and pride that built from that amazing opening ceremony was genuinely moving. It was a funny thing, watching that opening ceremony and finding myself hugely moved by it and then to find those emotions carried through whilst watching the events. Whether cheering on cyclists, swimmers, runners, jumpers or people shooting things, I found myself bought in to the whole concept of Team GB. Most odd. But good! …

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Challenging the norm

I remember, many many years ago, having a chat with a guy I was at school with whilst he walked down the road, swigging from a bottle of red wine. At the time I was solely a beer drinker (with the odd Southern Comfort which is entirely down to Stephen King, yes I was very impressionable at a young age) so I asked him why the hell was he, a 17 18 year old, drinking what I thought was something reserved for the older members of society? Did he actually enjoy the taste? He, drunkenly, admitted it was more because he liked to challenge the ‘norms’ of society, that he wouldn’t be swayed by peer pressure nor be told what …

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Two into one

What happens when one company acquires another? How do you merge departments, working practices, content? That’s the challenge that lies ahead for me as my company was recently acquired by Kana Software. We are still in the midst of integration planning, figuring out how to take the best parts of both product sets forward, and I’ve started to look over the documentation created by our counterparts across the water. It’s immediately obvious that we will need to make some compromises. Firstly in tooling, we use Author-it they use FrameMaker, and then in style (both writing and content delivery). We’ve been moving to a more article type deliverable, focussing on explaining the reasoning and thinking behind a product feature and only …

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