What this book aims for is to provide you as a manager of technical writing with the specifics that you won't easily find elsewhere.Secondarily, this book aims to give new managers, and future managers, a leg up on how to actually run a ...
Author: Steven A. Schwarzman
A practical guide to managing technical writing projects and tech writing departments, covering hiring, evaluation, management, internal and external customer relations, estimating and tracking tech writing projects, running a tech writing business as a solo contractor or as a manager, selling writing services, contracts and work orders, outsourcing, technical training development & delivery, and more. From the Introduction: "There are many books available on the techniques of technical writing, primarily for beginners and practitioners of tech writing. But there are very few books on how to manage the technical writing group in a company or how to manage a technical writing business (whether you're on your own as a freelancer or you have writers working for you). If you are a tech writer who manages other writers, or if you are a non-writer who manages writers, this book is for you. The sections on managing tech writing projects show a methodology specific to technical documentation. If you want to learn general management and project management techniques-and you should-that information already exists. What this book aims for is to provide you as a manager of technical writing with the specifics that you won't easily find elsewhere. Secondarily, this book aims to give new managers, and future managers, a leg up on how to actually run a technical publications group, based on some 20 years of experience in the field. There are different situations in which someone becomes a manager of a technical publications group. Sometimes a writer grows into the role within a company as the department grows, sometimes tech writers are subsumed under some other group - I've seen writers belonging to support, testing, marketing, and infrastructure groups - and the person in charge of technical writing in the company isn't actually a writer and may never have been one. Tech writers who set up their own freelance business have their own specific needs: not only are they the managers, they're also the writers. Finally, owners or managers of tech writing agencies, whether or not they are writers themselves, have business issues specific to a tech writing business to consider." Contents: Chapter 1Introduction * A guide for technical writing managers * Writers who become managers * Managers who are not tech writers * Freelance tech writers * Tech writing agency owners * What's in this book Chapter 2Tech writing for managers * A quick intro to technical writing * Technical editing * Technical writing and product management * Tech writing and debugging * What skills do technical writers need? Chapter 3How to hire tech writers * Establish the requirements * Evaluate the resumes * Interview the writers * Review the samples * Give a test * Tech writers with non-tech writing experience Chapter 4Managing a tech writing group * The role of tech writers in a corporate environment * The documentation team * Define standards * Distribute the work in your team * Involve the writers * Build teams * Monitor the work and communications * Evaluate the writers * Client relations * Communicating with other groups in your organization * Corporate tech writing * Re-use, repurposing, and content management systems Chapter 5Estimating, tracking, and managing tech writing projects * Determine the project scope * Estimates and schedules * Assemble the team * Provide resources and leadership * Working with outsourced writers or outsourced SMEs * Track and report * Deliver the project * Evaluate the project Chapter 6Running a tech writing business * Finding jobs * Marketing yourself as a freelance tech writer * Other marketing avenues * Managing your clients Chapter 7Managing technical training * How to do tech training * Training program components * Training needs analysis * Training development * Training delivery * Training delivery management * Training program communication * Training budget * Set the tone: fun exploration * Training eval