STC Toronto meeting: How to Increase your Odds of Project Success

Tomorrow’s meeting: The Importance of Being Earnest (about Documentation Planning) or How to Increase your Odds of Project Success

Our Speaker: Vivian Aschwanden, Senior Information Developer, Platform Computing

STC speaker Vivian AschwandenVivian has worked for over ten years in the field of technical communication in both writing and leadership roles. For the past three years she has worked as a Senior Information Developer at Platform Computing, a Markham company that develops high-performance / grid-computing software. Vivian began her career as a lone writer for a software startup in Northern Ontario before moving to Toronto to develop documentation for a broadcast engineering firm. Ready to take on new challenges, Vivian earned her CAPM credential (Certified Associated in Project Management) last year, and intends to one day become a full PMP (Project Management Professional).

Outside of work, her current projects include house training Boomer-the-puppy, managing her 9-year-old son’s multi-sport schedule, and keeping her husband toeing the line at home.

Topic Details:

We’re called technical writers, documentation specialists, information developers, authors, and communicators. Titles like these downplay the fact that we are also tasked with project management, not just writing. For our documentation projects to succeed, we must not forget to wear the PM hat.

During this session Vivian shares some of her project management knowledge, applying it to the everyday world of the technical communicator. More specifically, she examines the nine Project Management Institute (PMI) knowledge areas that every good project manager (and technical communicator!) should consider during the planning phase of a project:

  • Scope
  • Time/Schedule
  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Risk
  • Procurement
  • Human Resources
  • Communication
  • Integration

Successful documentation projects must consider, plan, and manage each of these knowledge areas. To ignore any one of these areas during a project’s lifespan could result in a once on-track project becoming a troubled project. After discussing effective project planning and implementation during the first half of the session, Vivian flips the coin and spends some time on the dark side defining troubled projects, their symptoms, and causes. The evening wraps up by discussing recovery strategies and opening the floor to questions.

logo, Society for Technical Communication, STCThe meeting will be held
at the North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge St., Toronto ON,
on Tuesday, March 11, at 7 PM.
General Admission $5/STC Members attend for free.

— Thanks to Todd Race for the programme listing

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