Mon, 06 Feb 2017 13:31:40 CSTTechnical and professional communicators spend a good deal of time man- aging teams and documentation projects, and their organizations are increasingly introducing new project management practices. This article introduces Agile project management strategies that were created in soft- ware development environments, exploring how these iterative strategies can complement the traditional linear project management approaches that are taught in technical and professional communication (TPC) programs. To do so, the author presents a brief history of Agile, a case study of how the author applied specific Agile strategies in a grant writing course, and a comprehensive set of tips for implementing Agile in other TPC courses. Pope-Ruark, Rebecca
Mon, 06 Feb 2017 13:29:32 CSTProfessional writing scholars have often turned to activity theory (AT) as a rich framework for describing and theorizing human activity. But AT-based studies typically emphasize the uniqueness of activities rather than examin- ing how certain types of activities share configurations. Consequently, these analyses often miss the chance to examine activities’ internal contradictions that are a result of interference between different configurations of activity. This article argues that a typology of activities can deepen our understand- ing of these internal contradictions. Drawing from a range of literature, it describes the general characteristics of different types of activities, provid- ing examples from other AT-based studies. It concludes by discussing how this typology can help such studies to better analyze internal contradictions in activities. Spinuzzi, Clay
Mon, 06 Feb 2017 13:28:19 CSTThis article explores how a doctoral student in theoretical physics constructs computational simulations and reports his work within the constraints of an academic dissertation. The author specifically identifies principal elements of the work ensemble that the student deployed to complete different tasks and analyzes two dissertation chapters in order to examine the semiotic resources that the student used to warrant the outcomes of his research. The study finds that these are not instru- mental procedures in which the researcher represents material objects in a mimetic sense; they are epistemic practices through which he generates digital objects that do not have an experimental counterpart and must therefore be justified through references to technical production. Based on these findings, the author argues that theorizing writing as coextensive with the practical work of science demonstrates what makes it powerful as a semiotic resource and constructive rhetorical activity. Wickman, Chad
Mon, 06 Feb 2017 13:27:16 CSTNetwork analysis is one of the instruments in the communication audit toolbox to diagnose communication problems within organizations. To explore its contribution to a communication audit, the authors conducted a network analysis within three secondary schools, comparing its results with those of two other instruments: interviews focusing on critical incidents and a communication satisfaction questionnaire. The results show that network analysis may complement interview and survey data in several ways, by uncovering unique problems or by explaining or corroborating problems that were uncovered by the critical incidents or the survey. The results also show that additional data are sometimes needed to make sense of network characteristics. Zwijze-Koning, Karen H. and Menno D. T. de Jong
Thu, 24 Sep 2009 09:20:39 CSTRecent attempts to define core interests of technical communication act as distraction of a priori definition of the field. In contrast, this technical paper uses a descriptive method for articulating existing core interests and sites of productive study , ranging from memorials to applications to videogame spaces . Prescriptive definitions reveal tempt ations of defining core interests and limit future potential. P roductive research will, over time, descr ibe core interests and provide sustainable means of supporting the field’s growth as well as clarifying productive sites for research. To define the boundaries of productive research prior to conducting exploratory research establishes artificial boundarie s, labels some practices legitimate while delegitimizing others, and impedes development of method, practices, and sites. The presentation offers a name for a broad array of emerging research practices of Experience Architecture suitable for a variety of w orkplace context by stressing descriptions of emergent research over prescribing practice. Salvo, Michael J.