Presentation on the documentation process?

Subject: Presentation on the documentation process?
From: "Link, Virginia" <LINKVI -at- dwd -dot- state -dot- wi -dot- us>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 08:54:57 -0500

Great idea, Geoff, but you forgot the tech-writer role: This exercise
doesn't have the engineers documenting the process. At least one of the
participants should have to have the doc ready when the product is ready.
Better have a plenty-big wastebasket handy!

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Geoff Hart [SMTP:geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca]
> Subject: Presentation on the documentation process?
<snipped to get under the Lyris radar>
> Make the meeting interactive, and fill it with the kinds of
> twiddly things engineers like to play with. And make it a
> visceral lesson in how the current documentation process
> makes it tough to get your job done. Here's one way you
> could do this:
<snippity snip>
> This pretty much covers the whole documentation cycle:
> changing specifications, last-minute additions after the docs
> have been frozen, creeping featuritis, and inadequate
> resources. If you really want to be cruel, add in peer review
> and let the other engineers tear apart the finished model (e.g.,
> "it's all different colors: make it again in red only", "no, I like
> the rainbow effect better", "wait a minute, you missed a two-
> bump Lego here...", etc.).
> Even if they don't learn anything from the process, think how
> much fun you'll have watching them do what you do for a
> living. <eg>
> --Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)

Virginia J. Link
Technical Writer
mailto:linkvi -at- dwd -dot- state -dot- wi -dot- us
FAX: 608-267-2824
Voice: 608-267-7896

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