Promoting Technical Writers to Management: Getting it Right
Technical writers, as a group, communicate extremely well. They’re also used to working with diverse groups and negotiating to achieve their objectives to keep everyone satisfied and projects on schedule. So, it would seem, technical communicators such as technical writers would make very good managerial candidates.
However, as is often obvious only after the fact, not everyone is suited for management. Some perform better as individual contributors while others are great mentors. In fact, most organizations don’t really consider the difference between mentorship and management, as discussed in Silicon Valley entrepreneur Adil Wali’s piece, Mentorship vs Management — Solving the Problem.
Unfortunately, many technical writers and other communicators who move up into management have had little to no management training, yet they’re expected to be successful quickly. This timeless article by Jessica Erber-Stark looks at how managers can best identify the right management candidates and how best to invest the time and effort to train them to succeed in their new roles.