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What Do We Manage?: A Survey of the Management Portfolios of Large Technical Communication Groups

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This article presents the results of a survey of the leaders of technical communication groups with 20 or more staff members about their project, people, and business management portfolios and practices. In terms of project management, most technical communication groups primarily produce user’s guides, reference manuals, and help. About half of all technical content is published in print, though online and PDF formats are widely used. Other than technical reviews and editing, no widely used method or metric of assessing effectiveness exists. Similarly, no widely used method or metric of assessing productivity exists among the groups. The two most widely hired job skills are technical writers and managers (both project and people managers). Many technical communication groups report to Development, but not a majority. The term technical communication is widely used in the department name and job title of people working in this field. Because of the tightly defined population and the limited response to the survey, the results cannot be generalized to all technical communicators.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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