Procedures - How To Document

Subject: Procedures - How To Document
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: SusanH -at- cardsetc -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 12:33:38 PST

Susan Harkus said:

[Principles in procedures writing:]

1. Give value in EVERY procedure step.
2. Eliminate steps that do not give value.
3. Minimise the number of steps.
4. Only provide procedures where they really are needed.

Tony Markatos adds:

5. To quote Ed Yourdon: "Procedure is like dance - it defies [written] description". Therefore, use graphical techniques as much as possible; ideally, only use written text to supplement graphics.

6. Present the bigger picture of the procedure first (using graphics) - then filter down to the details (text). This is how the human mind processes procedural information - especially the male mind. A big problem with written-text-only procedural information is that, since it is so detail-level, it works against the way the mind naturally wants to see procedure - greatly increasing resistance to reading it.

Susan Harkus also said:

..research indicated that men resented procedures because they felt a sense of disempowerment...

Tony Markatos responds:

I wish someone would have explained this to my basic military training drill sargent!

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

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