New Manager: How do you take over as manager for a group of technical writers?

I recently received an email which asked: Since my career seems to be following a path broadly similar to yours … I’d love to know what your experience was and any lessons learned. Specifically Mark, who sent the email, asked a few questions: How do you take over as manager for a group of technical writers? How do you get better management buy-in (promise cheaper or faster dox?)? What are the first activities you should do (content audit, benchmarking?)? How soon is *not* too soon to start changing things? I’ll break each question out into a new post so, without further ado, onto question #1. How do you take over as manager for a group of technical writers? Carefully! Typically …

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DITA is not the answer

Single sourcing is good, I’m sure most of us can agree on that, but I’ve recently been wondering if perhaps DITA isn’t quite good enough? The thing is, I’ve been looking at DITA as a solution for our single sources needs for a while now. I’ve attended conferences, read whitepapers, listened to vendors and everything else that goes with it and I’ve got a pretty good handle on things. If applied correctly the benefits you can gain are very large, although the same can be said of any other single source project, yet what seems to be consistently missing during all of these wonderfully theoretical discussions is the cost and impact of getting such a solution “applied correctly”. A key …

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