Clear and to the Point

21 April, 2009

Toronto technical writers offer management seminars

Filed under: education — monado @ 19:39
Tags:

stc-logo

The Toronto Society for Technical Communication is offering a day of seminars on Wednesday, April 22nd, for those who manage technical communication issues.

As writers and managers, we often hear what should be done, but how to do it and do it correctly, can be tough. This one–day workshop has four excellent topics teaching you how to improve your team, how to identify the right translation vendor to work with, how to promote yourself and your team internally, and how to manage during transitions of key staff. Leave with clear action items to get results from your team, and get work done on time and within budget.

The day includes a hot, catered lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, and speaker handouts
With the tough economic times we are facing it is more important than ever to ensure you have the right team, the right partners, the right image, and the right management.seneca-college-allstate-parkway

LOCATION: Seneca College, Markham Campus, 10 Allstate Parkway near Highways 404 and 7 (Google Map)

SCHEDULE: 08:00 –16:15 plus as long as people want to ask questions.

8:00 Breakfast, networking, & check in (please arrive by 8:30 a.m.)
8:45

vijsna-beg

Promotion from Within: During tough times it can be difficult to find the resources to hire new members for your team. One solution is to promote from within. However, finding the right team members, and identifying the key habits that make a technical communicator great, can make all the difference in team building. Visnja discusses these traits and teaches you how to identify them and promote the right people from within your current ranks.

Visnja Beg is the Project Manager overseeing all deliverables for the IBM Rational Software family of User Assistance products. She has worked in technical communications for 20 years and is a past president of STC Ottawa and has presented at several STC conferences.

10:15 Coffee, tea, snacks, & social networking
10:30

vivian-aschwanden2

Choosing the Right Translation Vendor: When content must be translated, it is crucial to choose the right vendor. To find the right vendor, you need to ask the right questions. You also need to evaluate bids beyond the cost per word. What are best practices for making this important decision? Learn how to select a vendor based on lessons learned by those who have gone through the process. Save yourself both money and time.

Vivian Aschwanden has over 11 years of experience in information development in both writing and leadership roles. She has been a lone writer for a startup, led a doc team in a broadcast engineering firm, and now fills a part-time project management role at Platform Computing in conjunction with her full-time writing.

12:00 Networking lunch
13:00

mark-pepper

Internal Consulting: Selling Tech Comm Inside Your Organization: Learn how to expand your network inside your organization, increase the services you offer, and boost the value of you and your team in the eyes of your employer. Told as a true story about the growth of a tech writing team, this session teaches techniques and tools for developing relationships in your company and turning those relationships into lines of business.

Mark Pepper is a communicator with 14 years of experience. He has been the lead technical writing consultant at Deloitte & Touche, an elearning writer and project manager, worked in journalism, business analysis, and at the help desk. He presently runs his own company, Crimson Sage Softworks Inc.

14:30 Coffee, tea, snacks, & social networking
14:45

jim-smith

Managing Management Change: how do you manage the abrupt departure of management? Learn how an interim manager steered a department through change and brought in a new ID manager (promoted from within the team) with minimal damage to productivity or morale. Effective change management strategies eased the transition. Learn key things you need to do to ensure change “sticks”, and strategies to help a team grow through the change.

Jim Smith is Manager of Information Development and User Experience at Platform Computing. Jim has been an information developer for over 20 years, including 7 years at IBM’s Toronto Lab. He has enjoyed 10 years at Platform, where he now manages a dynamic team of information developers and usability experts.

16:15 Wrap-up & Questions for the panel

PRICE:

REGISTER: Email education2009@stctoronto.org or phone 416-460-5845.

We must receive your payment to confirm your registration. If you cancel, you must let us know 5 business days before the event. However, you can send someone else at any time.

See you there!

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8 October, 2008

STC Toronto executive meeting

I attended the STC executive council meeting last night. We ripped though a substantial agenda in record time. The last item was the best: Vivian Aschwanden has volunteered to be the project management resource for us as we develop a new programme model for the year. The new model is described in the slides from the STC Toronto Annual General Meeting (PDF) last June.

In previous years, we had a Programme Manager who organized speakers and events ten months of the year in a single location on the same night of the month. He or she had suggestions from others, but in the end the burden weighed heavily on that one person.

This year, Bernard Aschwanden and Rob Hanna presented a new model: several themed events, organized by different people, in different parts of the city and on different days. Other meetings would be shorter, free, and less formal to provide networking opportunities.

The executive liked the idea and we hammered out the themes, times of year, and a sketch of the content for each event. Different executive members volunteered to guide one event each. Milan Davidovic ended up both running the Technical Trends event and managing the Technical Publications Competition.

We’ve had one event so far, a Career Day at Seneca@York University, which was popular and well received.

Vivian, a budding project manager, will guide the event managers to plan their events without having to re-invent the wheel. It will help to ensure that the events succeed and collect group wisdom for doing it all again next year. We might even publish our methods to the STC at large. That’s such a wonderful idea it just made me feel good all over.

24 September, 2008

STC Career Day 2008

STC is the Society for Technical Communication. Last Monday the Toronto STC held a day of seminars for renewing, revitalizing, and re-evaluating a technical communications career. Those attending were a mixture of students, experienced technical writers, people contemplating a second career.

For now, here’s a link to the programme (PDF).

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