Technical Writing Management: A Practical Guide Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- Publication Date : May 2, 2011
- File Size : 394 KB
- Print Length : 240 pages
- Language: : English
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- ASIN : B004Z1MVV6
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,574 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The title of this book would suggest that it's only useful for persons who might need to manage a team of technical writers. In fact, Steven presents technical writing from several perspectives, and the insights he provides for each individual group should be equally useful for all of them. Managers, members of a writing team, a single individual who is manager, writer and editor, and those who set up shop to provide technical writing services, are all represented in this book. They are treated to advice that will help them not only to perform their own roles, but to better understand the needs and goals of all the others. Technical Writing Management is a useful addition to any technical writer's library, and it's a good read for anyone at all curious about the profession. It's written in a conversational style and exudes confidence that comes from having been in the trenches.
I give this book five stars, primarily because I found it so useful in figuring out how to reenter the technical writing field after many years in other pursuits, but also because I connected with Steve in the online community of technical writers and found him to be incredibly generous in sharing his advice and wit.
The first point worth noting is the writing style; this is a conversation between Schwarzman and you. I have been fortunate to have had management mentors at various times in my career, and understand the importance of absorbing their experiences. Many conversations over a beer or sandwich have been as valuable, if not more so, than classroom lectures. Technical Writing Management is an extension of these interactions; the text is accessible, practical, and frank. There is a theme of "I have done this...and this is what has worked for me" contained in each section.
And what Schwarzman has experienced is exhaustive. The breadth and scope of topics is wide. He covers all the basics, including how to hire writers, the day-today activities of managing a writing team, evaluating performance, managing projects, and much more. Beyond the typical management tasks, he delves into running a technical writing business and managing a technical training department. As an example, Schwarzman provides in-depth information on estimating project effort, including factoring individual attributes of writers. I have attempted to treat writers as equals - any writer can jump in at any project at any time. He provides excellent reasoning as to why this hurts effort estimation.
One particular section I would like to highlight describes building relationships with other departments. As a writer, you may be oblivious to the need for improving the perception of your department within your company. A manager, however, needs to be keenly aware of any opportunities that arise here. Technical writers need to be seen as valued members of each project/product team. Schwarzman is not saying "act like a peer and you'll be treated like a peer" - he provides specific guidance on proactively establishing and maintaining a positive team identity.
My personal experiences overlap and validate much of the content in Technical Writing Management. But I was still excited to fill in many of my knowledge gaps, identify areas where I can improve our team environment, and prepare for events that I have not yet experienced in my professional career. While reading, I flagged a number of pages for further review.
This is an easy book to recommend.