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Marc and Andrew provided some good advice, which I think you should
consider. In addition, these are the steps I would take if I were in your
1. Assume that your manager isn't being effective in channeling information
your way, or possibly not providing other resources for you. Therefore, you
need to take more responsibility for your end of the project.
2. Change your mindset. "Be" a peer of the programming staff. Believe that
your performance is critical to the success of the project. If you believe
it and talk like it, they will begin treating you with more respect.
3. At minimum, meet with the project manager (he is not too busy for you),
and remind him what your situation is: technical documentation is in
jeopardy and will inevitably be on the critical path.
4. Talk with other key people in: Marketing, Tech Support, QA, etc. Mission
1: raise the awareness level of the documentation situation; mission 2: get
their verbal commitment to support you if you need to come to them.
5. Start attending the technical meetings. Your input is just as valuable as
anyone else's, and you need to learn everything you can in as short a period
of time as possible.
6. Hands-on education! Install and use the software. But beyond that, get
development, technical marketing, and QA engineers to tutor you.
7. Spend at least one night tossing and turning, thinking about what you can
realistically deliver in the time you have left. Waking up in a cold sweat
is a good sign. Preferably screaming, with the feeling of being suffocated
or falling. They mean you're getting a grasp of your situation.
Have a nice day! And let us know when visiting hours are at the psycho ward.