>-----Original Message-----
>From:  Avraham Makeler; framers at lists.frameusers.com
>Subject: Procedure How to Write a Manual!
>I just want to share this with the list and absorb the response. My boss
>today told me to "write a procedure on how to write a manual" and he
>also stated to me that anyone could be a writer, he did not understand
>what all the fuss was about tech writing, anyone could do it. Needless
>to say, I am still sitting at my desk trying to sort through the myriad
>of reactions I am having! I cant wait to hear everyone's thoughts. 
>PS: Does anyone have a procedure how to write a manual ;-)

Now, if you are primarily a tech writer by vocation, you really are joking, 
right?  You do know the procedure for writing a manual.  You also understand 
that to eat an elephant, you have to know how to make it into hamburgers.

Someone (you? your boss? his boss?...n?) is authorised *and therefore obliged 
by job description* to enforce a company policy regarding creation and 
maintenance of written procedures at all levels.  If it's your job in the 
department to ensure that procedures have proper and sufficient documentation 
then your "How to Write Procedures" procedure should be in circulation already. 

Is it?  

At 02:50 AM 19/05/2009, Flato, Gillian wrote:
>Your boss is a Jackass with poor people skills. 

If "How to Write Procedures" is already in circulation, why does the boss have 
to ask for it?  Is it good enough?  (Does it work?)  Does he know it exists?  
Can he read?  

If not - isn't he just doing his Boss job?  Shouldn't you be grateful that he's 
only insulting you, when he'd really like to have your guts for garters?  

Gillian wrote:

>He just told you that he doesn't appreciate or value you or your job. If 
>layoff time comes, you're the first to go since "anyone can be a writer and 
>what's the

It could have quite a different reading....if he really believed that it were 
so easy, he would have written the "How to Write a Manual" procedure himself, 
handed it to you and told you to "go get".  Maybe he did...and you didn't.

Your boss is not *totally* out of his tree if he means that "anyone" could be a 
provider of essential content for procedure documentation.  To arrive at the 
state where there is a company manual encompassing every procedure in the 
organisation *requires* the responsible experts in each domain to abstract and 
articulate the right way to do every task.  In this sense, even a dyslexic 
paint-blender must be able to perform as a content informant for the written 
paint-blending procedure -- even if you have to provide how-to videos of the 
"questions" each informant has to answer and voice recorders to capture the 

>It's time to transfer to another dept in your company or polish your resume 
>and look for another job.  

On the other hand, if it's Avram's job to make the company manual happen, and 
it's not happening, then keeping the resume as-is could be safer... ;-) 


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