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Management and Leadership Articles

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Layoffs
by Kerri Barber
At the end of each year, corporate leaders look warily toward what is often a bleak and uncertain while making adjustments to already modest budgets. All too many prepare to reduce headcount through layoffs and mandatory retirement programs. Why those actions don’t bode well for long-term strategy.

Five Questions to Ask Yourself While Creating a New Documentation Department
by Eric Butow
Congratulations! You’re the manager of your company’s emerging documentation department — and your work has just begun. To create effective documentation for your customers, you not only have to build a sound team, but also build working relationships with all other departments in your company.

Fundamentals of Leadership: Communicating a Vision
by Kerri Harris
Today’s business climate of outsourcing, in-sourcing, virtual teams, and ROI-driven objectives can leave a manager at any level feeling powerless. Yet, we often see examples of those who can elicit unwavering support from their teams, driving highly effective projects, and getting the best performance from employees despite ever-increasing workloads.

How to Justify Hiring Technical Writers During Hard Economic Times
by Aparna Datta
Of course, today’s technical writers not only write, they also perform many other tasks: programming, web development, training, and so on. Add to that the fact that many are also highly trained and certified in other areas besides writing.

How to Market a Documentation Department
by Robert King
When you first ventured into the tech writing ranks, marketing the department was likely the furthest thing from your mind. You already had work to do, so marketing was somebody else’s job.

Igniting a Culture of Learning in Your Entire Organization!
by Sue Plaster, M.Ed.
At its heart though, igniting a learning culture throughout our organizations does at times come down to a four-letter word epitomized by my former dentist: L o v e. Love of learning. Love of challenge. Love for the work itself. Love of the customer. And love of our partnerships. This love is what ignites passion for learning in ourselves and in others.

How Out-of-Date Documentation Can Cost You Your Brand and Your Company
by Jacquie Samuels
In these days of Web 2.0, people don’t sit idly by being furious with you. They take to Twitter, Facebook, and every other social media outlet they can find and they share their anger with the world. So please, on behalf of all consumers of your product, put that extra time and money into writing and updating the documentation. Build it into the cost of the product because, after all, your product isn’t complete without it.

How Technical Writers Add Value to a Team
by WAI Editor
Technical writers are not just writers, although that is certainly a major aspect of their duties. They are also user advocates, researchers, testers and publishers. All tasks that are, in the end, performed to enhance the usability and value of your products or services.

Managing Documentation Teams with Varied Schedules and Locations
by Brett Peruzzi
In many of today’s corporate work environments, the days of managing a group of people who all share a common physical location and the same work hours are waning. More often, work teams may be composed of people who work in either a company office or from home, in different cities, states, time zones, and countries.

Planning for Our Future Workforce: Teaching Leaders to Prepare for Succession
by Sue Plaster, M.Ed.
Leadership development and succession trainers have an important role in helping leaders understand how to go about evaluating future potential of employees, and how to create realistic and practical succession plans. The system used need not be complex. In fact, simplicity is an asset in talent and succession management.

Putting it All Together
by Pat Grabill
Here’s the scenario: You are a techcom manager who has just been informed by the boss that, due to budget constrictions, one department of the company will be shut down and its remaining employees transferred to your department. Those transferees might be engineers or software developers joining a group of writers—or vice-versa. Your assignment is to assist with the transition so it appears seamless.

Raising Your Documentation Team’s Visibility
by Whitney Potsus
Whether the documentation department has a staff of one or a team of 12, visibility within the company is a frequent concern. The reasons for this concern range from personal to professional. You want to be remembered when promotions and bonuses are handed out. Here’s how.

Saving Money with Virtual Teams and Working at a Distance Without Travel
by Barbara Stuhlemmer
Telecommuters are becoming a larger part of a company’s human resource equation. Also, there is an increasing trend to outsource parts of projects. To ensure the consistency and quality of any product or deliverable, it is imperative that teams are able to communicate throughout a project – tough enough to do when everyone is in one place, but even more challenging when team members may be thousands of miles apart.

Streamlining the Phases of Disaster Recovery
by Vin D’Amico
All too often, companies either rely upon personal knowledge and skill to recover from emergency situations, or they write a multi-volume encyclopedia of recovery procedures. When disaster strikes, neither approach lends itself to rapid response. Published in Accounting Today.

The Write Man for The Job: Tech Writing Firm Writing Assistance Inc. Grew On Dot-Com Bust
by Jordan Stalker
As the dot-com bubble began to deflate at the end of 2000, Scott Hartmann saw an opportunity for his then recently acquired writing business. Published in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Turning Web 2.0 Into Business as Usual
by Kerri Harris
Web 2.0 is hip, trendy, and reminiscent of catch-phrases from the Dot-com boom when just about anything related to binary was so ‘Now.’ How Web 2.0 is merely a tag used to convey the generalized concept that collaboration is changing.

Understanding the Need for Content Quality Management
by Diane Wieland
An interview with Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, that’s both a bit controversial and inspiring in that it looks at how good content quality management can be a great benefit for tech pubs departments.

Wearer of Many Hats: One Management Style Does Not Fit All 
by Jeffrey Young
Trying to convince multiple individuals to head in the same direction requires figuring out their mindsets and what it takes to motivate them. This article discusses four ‘hats’ managers may have to wear and which management ‘hat’ works best for each situation.

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