RE: Quality issues (was New writer needing advice)

Subject: RE: Quality issues (was New writer needing advice)
From: "Carlene Gardner" <orion2 -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2000 12:52:20 -0400

Susan Guttman wrote:
"Sometimes you have to do what's humanly possible in an inhuman amount of
time; you give the users enough to be able to use the software, and then
work towards perfection for the service pack or v.1.1 release.
<snip>
"I think there's a certain amount of personal philosophy involved in this
issue. "...

Quality being the heart of the issue, it seems, that most of us (me, too)
face all the time. Unless you're working for some publishing house, the
company is probably not too focussed on documentation, so it's "make do".

There is a classic triangle paradigm: one side is labeled Good, another
Cheap and another Fast. Sit the triangle on a table and the side on the
bottom is the element that you will sacrifice. For instance, what is cheap
and fast is often not as good as something that took longer (and cost more).
The trick is to made the wisest choices possible when it's time for
trade-offs. Not easy, and new writers (especially those new to the working
world) have a hard time with this.

What has worked for me so far has been looking at the big picture within the
company: where are they making their trade-offs in software development?
Exactly what impact is the "fast and cheap" target having on the "good"
goal? Then it's time to plan your documentation: propose a solution that is
a good as it can be in the time you have, that everyone agrees to, and that
youare comfortable with. When your approach is in harmony with your
co-workers' philosophy, it's so much more pleasant to get up and go to work
in the morning...

Good luck, Lori. From reading your posts, I think you'll be just fine.

Carlene Gardner
orion2 -at- videotron -dot- ca






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