This particular client flew up from Canberra on one weekend to meet with me and brainstorm subject matter for an ATO application, an APS6 level role: General Designer. He was successful in gaining an interview. Criteria were based on the APS Integrated Leadership System (ILS); six required addressing for this application, each 500 word maximum. See previous posts on a more in-depth explanation of the APS ILS. Following are excerpts from three of the six criteria.

Achieves Results …

My ability to manage priorities and deliver on intended results is amply demonstrated in my current role when I developed study guides (up to six concurrently). I was involved throughout the entire project life cycle from commencement through to final production and delivery to students. The management of priorities was undertaken in accordance with a set production schedule which was formulated at the start of each semester. Task work and subject material was tackled and completed in the order specified. To further facilitate the prioritisation process, I referenced and followed an erasable colour-coded wall chart which was updated daily with new task additions. The chart contained a continual listing of new topics/tasks for each semester, which outlined arrival dates, progress/status, delegation to staff member, length of time with editors, and so forth. The chart was colour-coded for easy reference by all on which staff member was working on what job/task at any specified time and its progress. As a team, we all contributed to updating the chart’s contents on a daily basis. During the production phase and its scheduling, occasionally jobs were brought forward or delays were incurred. To counter this and facilitate the process of keeping to the schedule, I chased stakeholders to assist in filling gaps; I commenced the process of producing web sites prior to the receipt of materials; I contributed to the graphics for the web developer; and I produced covers for blocks using blank title blocks which sped up the printing process. Overall, study guides were produced in accordance with specified quality standards and within specified time frames.

Personal drive and integrity…

My ability to commit to action and take the initiative can be demonstrated in my current role as the office’s volunteer Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S) Representative. Recently, I took the initiative in planning and implementing a set schedule of inspections to take place around the office to identify any potential WH&S hazards. These inspections were not in place prior; and I considered it of the upmost importance to implement them as I had encountered potentially dangerous safety hazards within the last few months. For example, a bookshelf constructed at head height which causes staff to make impact; air conditioning not working correctly; and staff walking into tall windows (floor to ceiling height) that are not clearly visible and defined. I recently completed a WH&S course; training has been invaluable as I have access to up-to-date practical and theoretical information, which I am now using in the workplace, especially when planning and conducting these safety inspections. In planning the inspections, I divided the entire office space into sections and conducted inspections in each area. Inspections revealed several potential hazards, which I outlined in a report and forwarded to the Director for review and follow up action. To date, the bookshelf height has been corrected and I have ordered step ladders for staff to use when removing light bulbs. Furthermore, in one month’s time, I will be a fully certified WH&S Officer; this will provide me with the power to compel the Director to act on and rectify workplace hazards/issues in a prompt manner.

Business Knowledge…

My business knowledge is exemplified in my recent role with XXX Pty Ltd where I was tasked to develop software user manuals, scientific reference guides, training guides and various software installation guides. These documents were extensively planned, professionally authored, well structured, and contained graphically rich publications of marketable quality. In the development of these publications, I assessed the state of software development and familiarised myself with its functions and intended outputs. I proposed a document production schedule which closely matched the developer’s release. As new functions were released, I included them in the user guides. Also, as the software was subject to changes in configuration and required continuous amendment to keep pace with programming changes, it was my responsibility to ensure accuracy in file management and document version control, in combination with a robust document update and release process.

To ensure consistency of project works and importantly, to ensure the production of content was useful to the end user, I worked closely with internal stakeholders including another Technical Writer, a Web Developer, and a Training Officer on the release of new documents. In writing the Software User Guides and other technical documents, I realised production could be streamlined if I worked on a similar timeline to the software developers. This gave me the opportunity to plan and create a document production schedule that closely mirrored their schedule for the monthly software release. I obtained the monthly planning calendar used by the Software Manager and the deliverables schedule used by the Hydrologists. I then scheduled an entire year of document releases to occur on a monthly basis.These documents were then delivered to the software team the day before their planned release date for inclusion into the software. This process ensured software content was always one month ahead of its accompanying user guide. Furthermore, by considering and accommodating the needs of the Hydrologists as end users, I ensured they had enough time to view the User Guides, to trial the software, and to provide me with feedback before the next month’s release. Overall, this facilitated the process of making necessary modifications in a timely manner and within the stipulated time frame.

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Annie Cerone