RE: When Worlds Collide: McConnell meets Hackos

Subject: RE: When Worlds Collide: McConnell meets Hackos
From: "Michael Collier" <mcollier -at- arlut -dot- utexas -dot- edu>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 14:55:47 -0500

dan roberts <droberts63 -at- earthlink -dot- net> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> I'm wondering if anyone has written doc under the SW development process
> outlined by Steve McConnell in The Software Project Survival Guide, and if
> so, how that process either coincided or conflicted with the documentation
> process outlined by Joann Hackos, in Managing Your Documentation Project.

---snip---

I think the Hackos material is mostly applicable to doc departments with
their own managers with a separate budget to manage. I've always worked in
environments where documentation costs were rolled into development; in such
environments, it's hard to separate out document planning from development
planning, so I've tried to follow more the "software project survival"
approach by planning user docs from development specs, use cases, etc. and
encouraging the organizations I work in to create these and keep them up to
date.

It's easy to imagine doc managers waving their information plans at
developers, and having to dodge nerf balls in return. Try as we might, we
can't be the tail that wags the dog, since the end product is not
documentation but a software system. In my opinion, McConnell's suggestions
are more helpful in influencing the developoment process to include good
documentation planning then Hackos'. I agree with Sean, read both books and
apply what you can to your situation.

................................................................
Michael Collier, Technical Writer Office: N546
Information Systems Laboratory http://isl.arlut.utexas.edu/
Applied Research Laboratories: The University of Texas at Austin
Voice: 512-835-3408 e-mail: mcollier -at- arlut -dot- utexas -dot- edu
................................................................





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