Re: At what point do you include the Information Plan?

Subject: Re: At what point do you include the Information Plan?
From: "Barb Einarsen" <barb -dot- einarsen -at- gnnettest -dot- com>
To: "Cathy De Rubeis" <de_rubeis -at- hotmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 10:40:38 -0400

Cathy said: The project manager of this project told me the development of
Information plan would occur after the Design documents had been developed.
These Design documents include step by step instructions on a specific
product requirement including screenshots. Thus, I was told, we would
documentation as the developers write code.

I reply: Wow, lucky you, it sounds like you've found yourself a very
writer-friendly company.

Cathy asks:
Do you think the Information plan should be part of a "frozen" Product
Requirements document?
I say: sure, but it can be based on that document or stand-alone as well.

Cathy asks: Is there enough information in a Product Requirements document
to develop an
Information Plan?
I say: that depends, but why would you when people are happy to provide such
lovely, extensive design documents. You know, the coolest thing is that they
complete Design documents before coding!

Cathy asks: Is it the norm for Design documents to be so extensive in
documenting how a
procedure works?
I say: no, but congratulations. Enjoy these perks and focus on honing your

Cathy asks: Where does the work of the developer end and the job of the
technical writer
I say: well, that's tricky. Some writers write the functional specification
or design document, some design the GUI, most write manuals and online help
for a variety of audiences (end user, system administrator, developers ...).
Sounds like it is your job to write manuals and/or online help from design
documents and software code (as developed).

Cathy asks: Do you think introducing an Information Plan after the Design
documents are
completed is too late in the process?
I say: at my company, yes, because our design documents are complete after
the product ships. Your company, no, if the developers complete the design
documents before coding the software.

HTH and Have Fun!
Barb Einarsen

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