A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Collaboration

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376.
#10220

Handling Tough Situations: The Short Method

We discussed how to buy time when you are assaulted by an unpleasant surprise. Our argument was that few people respond well to challenging situations unless they have some time to prepare. Therefore, whenever you can, you should divide the task into four distinct phases: (1) minimal immediate response, (2) preparation, (3) problem-solving discussion, and (4) follow-through. Unfortunately, some situations don't let you postpone a full discussion. For such cases, you need the 'short method,' which condenses phases 1-3.

Reimold, Cheryl. IEEE PCS (2000). Careers>Collaboration>Project Management

377.
#31015

Harnessing Collective Expertise: Delivering Market and Client Intelligence Research Within a Law Firm   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Explains how a leading global law firm manages its market and client research. Outlines the firm's divisions, business activities and client base. Explains in detail how the firm uses business research, covering use of market intelligence on the business issues that an individual client faces, and the gathering of intelligence about the client, to disclose the nature and extent of the firm's ambitions to advise the organization concerned. Discusses the staffing of a law firm's business research capability, pointing out that not only staff expertise but also confidentiality concerns mean that it is not always efficient for lawyers to access internal and external information sources directly. Suggests that defining the minimum business research necessary improves the usefulness of the information delivered and saves the firm time -- and that removing the uncertainty about what is required improves job satisfaction as well.

Blaxland, Diane. Business Information Review (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Legal>Collaboration

378.
#25011

Harnessing the Earthquake: Reaching Group Consensus When Changing the Documentation Process   (PDF)

A causal-analysis session is a problem-solving method that brings groups of people together to jointly solve common problems and make process changes. This method ensures that everyone who will be affected by a process change has the opportunity to provide input and agree to the solution. In large departments, reaching group consensus is a challenge. This paper presents our department's implementation of the causal-analysis method.

Coppola, Carolyn M. and Kristine Logan. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Documentation>Collaboration

379.
#30100

Hat Heads vs. Bed Heads

Calm tension, communicate more easily, and run your projects more efficiently by applying the right relationship management techniques.

LaFerriere, Keith. List Apart, A (2007). Articles>Management>Collaboration

380.
#25368

Have Women Websters Achieved Equality On the Internet?

Will cyberspace fulfill our dreams of creating a new work environment where not only women but men can choose to work remotely at home, rocking babies with one hand while pushing pixels with the other? There are no easy answers.

Bucqueroux, Bonnie. Wise-Women (2004). Careers>Web Design>Collaboration>Gender

381.
#37072

Review: Help Them Help You

James’ teaching style is clear, and approachable and in just under three hours of training viewers get a complete overview of what to expect when expecting to become a Web designer. He keeps the concepts simple and uncluttered, and encourages people to mimic that approach in their designs. While this training course doesn’t necessarily teach the step-by-steps of how to build an entire hand-coded site with drop down navigation and fancy rollovers, think of it as the Lonely Planet guide for Web design.

Read, Megan O. UX Magazine (2010). Articles>Reviews>Web Design>Collaboration

382.
#14755

Helping New Writers Through Their First Year  (link broken)   (PDF)

Von Haas examines techniques for helping new technical writers achieve success in the profession.

Von Haas, Elaina E. Intercom (2002). Careers>Collaboration>Mentoring

383.
#34780

HelpScribe: Technical Communicators Cannot be Provoked

Have you ever received a review comment that totally ticked you off? Perhaps a sarcastic comment with no practical suggestion for improving the content? Maybe even one that questioned your abilities as a writer and the value of your contribution to the product? The dangerous thing about being a writer is that you're well equipped for unleashing scathing replies. If your buttons have been pushed, chances are your retaliation will bite deep and leave no room for misinterpretation. After all, you sling words for a living, right? Like the hands of Kwai Chang Caine, your words are deadly weapons. Hold that thought.

HelpScribe (2009). Articles>Collaboration>Advice

384.
#29336

The Hidden Relationship Between Project Managers and Technical Writers   (members only)

Want to know the secret to better quality documentation and improved software design? Will Kelly outlines how the key is an effective relationship between project managers and technical writers.

Kelly, William T. TechRepublic (2003). Articles>Collaboration>Project Management>Technical Writing

385.
#35693

Holidays for Every Occasion

At the time I’m writing this column, it’s that “happy” time in the United States between the Thanksgiving holiday in late November (the fourth Thursday of the month) and the impending Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Well, the “happy” part is debatable, as this period has become characterized by the absolute chaos of shopping, the challenges of winter travel and the “holiday crunch” in the workplace to complete as much as possible before most everyone disappears for a week or two.

Edwards, Tom. TC World (2008). Articles>Collaboration>International

386.
#37816

The Holy Grail of Innovation: It Takes an Ensemble to Achieve Inspired Creativity

Have you ever seen really good improv? Did you walk out of the experience willing to swear that the actors had rehearsed it ahead of time or it was some kind of magic? I’ll let you in on an actor’s secret: chances are the work was neither rehearsed nor magic! What’s more likely is that the group performing the improv was a true ensemble of actors who had trained and practiced the principles of improv and were accustomed to working together. When it comes to knowing how to achieve innovative design, you may be just as mystified as you were watching that improv. Everywhere around us today, we feel the desire and drive to build innovative products and find creative solutions to design problems. I’m sure you have, at times, thought those were impossible goals to achieve. But if we take some lessons from the practice of theatrical improvisation, we’ll discover it isn’t really that hard at all.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Collaboration

387.
#14051

Hot Politics: The Changing Places of Political Participation in the Age of the Internet  (link broken)

Among the many complexities of power, economics, interests, personality, passions, social interaction, ideology, culture, and religion that keep politics both more and less than rational deliberation are those that arise from the dynamics of literate interchange, the historical formation of forums, and the generic shaping of utterances within those forums. Recent research on genre and discursive systems, along with situated cognition and action, suggests that the character of the local activity space is extremely important for what happens, what people think and learn, and what social consequences emerge. While the shape of politics to emerge in the cyber world is still somewhat obscure, by considering the forums of political interchange that are emerging on the internet, how they draw on previous forums and genres of political interchange, and the pressures that seem to be encouraging the heightening of certain elements within those genres, we may gain a first reading of some choices in front of us.

Bazerman, Charles. UCSB (2000). Articles>Collaboration>Online>Politics

388.
#18377

How Can We Assist Clients in Becoming More Successful at Conflict Resolution?   (members only)

A void exists in our social skill set that leaves us incapable of successfully resolving the conflicts we face in our personal and professional lives. Conflict and dispute resolution is a skill we all must learn. Practitioners need to assist clients to reach beyond just settling their current conflict. We should include the skill building, coaching and support necessary for disputants to make the paradigm shift from disputing parties to conflict resolution advocates with a positive perspective on conflict and its resolution.

Odidison, Joyce. Mediate.com (2002). Articles>Communication>Collaboration

389.
#35870

How Can We Better Educate Our Clients?

"I'm going away on vacation now. Will you please get this thing localized while I'm gone?" Do you recognize this scenario? Two minutes before your own vacation starts, one of your key clients kicks off the localization of a software suite into 14 languages for what he claims is his company's most important release ever. One minute before your vacation, you receive a poorly prepared file hand-off kit comprising software for translation, documentation, help systems, marketing material, etc. To top it off, your client contact forgot to appoint a replacement contact during his vacation - so you're on your own.

Deibjerg, Thomas. GALAxy Newsletter (2007). Articles>Language>Localization>Collaboration

390.
#34860

How Did This Happen?

Even a newspaper like The Times, with layers of editing to ensure accuracy, can go off the rails when communication is poor, individuals do not bear down hard enough, and they make assumptions about what others have done.

Hoyt, Clark. New York Times, The (2009). Articles>Editing>Collaboration>Case Studies

391.
#23385

How Do You Believe You Add Value to the Development of an Information System?

In recent months, as part of my doctoral research, I have been interviewing technical communicators, users and developers of information systems to try and find out if in fact the work of a technical communicator is of value to those developing and using information systems. The interviews demonstrated clearly that technical communicators do add value. This was further confirmed in Paris where I discussed my work with technical communicators at the Comtec '97 conference. The following discussion encapsulates some of the comments from participants at Comtec '97 and the interviews I conducted.

Fisher, Julie L. TC-FORUM (2003). Articles>Collaboration>TC

392.
#29341

How Do You Deal With a CEO Who Wants to Run the IT Department?   (members only)

A CEO is enamored with technology but doesn't understand the issues involved in implementing his time- and money-hungry IT ideas. What would you do to solve this problem?

Roberts, Becky. TechRepublic (2003). Careers>Management>Technology>Collaboration

393.
#28631

How Employees Fight Back Against Workplace Bullying

Adult bullying at work is a shocking, terrifying, and at times shattering experience. What's more, bullying appears to be quite common, as one in ten U.S. workers report feeling bullied at work, and one in four report working in extremely hostile environments. Workplace bullying is repetitive, enduring abuse that escalates over time and results in serious harm to those targeted, to witnessing coworkers, and to the organizations that allow it to persist. Bullying runs the gamut of hostile communication and behavior and can consist of excluding and ignoring certain workers, throwing things and destroying work, public humiliation and embarrassment, screaming and swearing, and occasionally even physical assault. What makes workplace bullying so harmful is its persistent nature. Exposed workers report that bullying goes on and on, lasting for months and--in many cases--even years.

Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela. Communication Currents (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration

394.
#29546

How Important Is It To Streamline Communication

Today's organizations must contend with increasingly complex communications environments that feature a wide array of communications methods. Employees, business partners, and customers communicate with one another through infinite combinations of phones, voice messaging, e-mail, fax, mobile clients, rich-media conferencing and other communication gadgets. One thing that is very important is proper communication. Whether you use the age-old snail mail or an email, the key to success lies in effective communication. One should get clear message as to what exactly is required or told by you. It is very important to streamline communication whether you are conversing in person or through an age-old snail mail, email or over the phone.

ArticleMuse (2007). Articles>Communication>Collaboration>Minimalism

395.
#24496

How Natural Philosophers Can Cooperate: The Literary Technology of Coordinated Investigation in Joseph Priestley's History and Present State of Electricity (1767)   (PDF)

During scientific researchers' collaborations, authors draw on many extratextual resources (social, intellectual and empirical) which are deployed in their texts.

Bazerman, Charles. WAC Clearinghouse (1991). Articles>Scientific Communication>Collaboration

396.
#26996

How Product Teams Benefit from Usability

Product teams can leverage usability in three simple ways. First, usability can disambiguate requirements. Second, it can push a product closer to perfection with a small investment. Finally, usability helps product teams inform the organization about potential and expected support issues.

Rhodes, John S. Apogee (2006). Articles>Usability>Collaboration

397.
#37241

How Sharing Increases Innovation

I believe there is a strong tie between sharing and the ability to innovate. This post will walk you through the logic.

Chase, Robin. Shareable (2010). Articles>Collaboration

398.
#35586

How Soon is Now?

One common complaint a lot of technical writers have is that they aren’t included early enough in lifecycle of a project. The downsides are that by the time work hits your desk you don’t have a full picture of who the customer is, why they want whatever it is you are building, and how they want it provided to them. All of which directly impacts the information being created.

McLean, Donna. One Man Writes (2009). Articles>Project Management>Technical Writing>Collaboration

399.
#31526

How to Avoid Networking Faux Pas

It's no secret that networking is a key factor in career success. And failing to keep an active network can hinder your employment prospects if you suddenly find yourself in the job market with no contacts or references. As a professional communicator, you already know how important connections are. But a network must be continually nurtured, and you may be neglecting yours unintentionally. Here are 10 common networking mistakes and tips to avoid them

McDonald, Paul. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Collaboration>Community Building

400.
#22837

How to Become a Value-Add Technical Communicator to Scientists, Engineers, and Technical Staff   (PDF)

At one time or another most technical communicators have had to work with scientific/technical professionals who were the authors of their own research projects or product documentation. As a group, engineers more so than scientists do not view writing documentation as a critical (though perhaps important) part of the product or their job description. The technical publications team in Motorola’s RISC Systems Engineering Division has adopted seven strategies developed by the author that will help get engineers, programmers, and other technical professionals clamoring for the services of technical communicators. This paper addresses these seven strategies.

LeVie, Donald S., Jr. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Collaboration>Engineering

 
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