The first five chapters of Managing Your Documentation Projects, by JoAnn Hackos, are worth reading by every technical writer; the remaining chapters need be read only (in my opinion) by managers of publications departments comprising ten or more writers. If you tried to implement Hackos's method in a smaller department, it seems to me that you would run the risk of being perceived as an autocratic, whip-cracking, micro-managing tyrant who likes nothing more than to torment busy writers with make-work projects. That said, if you manage a large department, then the implementation of Hackos's method will ensure that your writers meet milestones and deadlines, and that you and your superiors know exactly how the project is doing at any time.
Hackos's method for managing documentation projects requires that writers perform a number of administrative tasks, all of which take a few minutes to several hours a week to complete. Many of these tasks are written reports that need to be approved ("signed off") before the project can continue. Since non-writers often wonder what technical writers do all day and why it takes them so long to do it, I suspect that the main purpose of all these tasks is really to improve the publications department's credibility in the eyes of other department heads. Nevertheless, I've worked in plenty of well-run and well-thought-of publications departments that did not use the Hackos method.
Regardless of my reservations, Managing Your Documentation Projects is certainly not without merit and, as I mentioned above, the first five chapters are worth reading. In these chapters, Hackos defines her management method, which she bases on the Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM). CMM is an evolutionary method that takes an organization's software processes from ad hoc, chaotic processes to mature, disciplined processes. Hackos applies the capability management model to technical writing. She describes the processes used by technical publications departments at different stages in the model and defines a series of processes for moving from one stage to the next. The ideas presented in these chapters are interesting and convincing.