Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Management coming to my place of business

For most of the time that I've been at my current job, I haven't had a manager. Shortly after I arrived, there were some organizational changes and the manager that hired me decided to leave to pursue off-shoring opportunities (which we eliminated here).

Since then, the management work was divided up among two other senior members of the Engineering and Product Management groups. Lucky for me, they just left me to do my work. No one-on-one meetings, schedules, status reports. Nope, I just got to manage my own time and work.

It's been lovely. Although, I suppose part of what I liked was that I wasn't really accountable to anyone. Not that I didn't do my job -- but I didn't have to explain why I took more time to do something or why I shifted my tasks. I just did what I felt was best for the product.

But now, a new VP of Engineering is on the way. I had no input into the hiring of this person, so I have no idea if the new manager has ever managed technical writers, what this person's expectations are, or even if our personalities are compatible. On the plus side, the CEO asked me to send one of my documentation deliverables to him since she had asked to see some of the documentation. On the other hand, this request came AFTER the job offer was accepted, so, I suppose it wasn't a big enough point of interest to happen during the interview process.

I'm a bit anxious about this change. In my previous jobs at start ups, the managers that I had were, in general, somewhat awful, if they were Engineering managers. If a documentation manager was there, my experience was somewhat better. Most Engineering managers are clueless about the role of technical writers and they either have ridiculous expectations or provide no support at all.

The people who have met the new manager seem very enthusiastic about the new person, so I have to trust that to some extent. I'm assuming, though, that the subject of the technical writing role was not a big topic of discussion (really, you'd think the new manager might want to meet the one and only writer here).

So, I don't know what I'm in for. It would be nice to have someone in authority to help support the need to get documentation reviews built into the process. I have no authority and all I can do is ask...which usually doesn't result in much, as far as a repeatable process. And, I suppose what I'm anxious about is whether I'll live up to the new manager's expectations, whatever they might be. At one point, I had a certain level of ambition about achieving personal goals at work. Now, I'm just happy to do a decent job and keep the stress levels down.

Change at work...I'm trying to be optimistic, but I'm a bit worried.

1 comment:

Bethami said...

on our side of the pond, we use customer feedback as our selling point to engineering. basically, if the customer wants better/more documentation, they get it. if they couldn't care less - neither will R&D.
seems to me that there are always customers who want better documentation. error, alarms, troubleshooting, that sort. The stuff thats really awful to write. just have to find them.