RE: Process kills the

Subject: RE: Process kills the
From: Mike Stockman <stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 16:27:18 -0400

On 10/26/00 3:41 PM, Jim Shaeffer (jims -at- spsi -dot- com) wrote:

>Many technical communicators are not in a position to add to the information
>(the gold).
>They are in the position of obtaining knowledge (usually from SMEs) and then
>transforming (organizing) that knowledge into something that makes it easier
>for the end user to also obtain the same knowledge.

Maybe I've just been lucky in the 25+ writing contracts and jobs I've
had, but I've never been handed "knowledge" by subject matter experts or
anyone else where I could just organize it and publish it.

Usually, I have to collect "knowledge" by reading specs (when they
exist), interviewing developers and other experts, reading code where
applicable, and playing with the product (software or hardware, in my
jobs) until I understand what's going on enough to write original
material about how it works for the audience. That's the "gold," and it
wouldn't exist if I or someone in my position didn't create it.

This is the main reason for my opinion, stated in previous threads of
this kind: An ability to learn and write well can succeed in the absense
of a process, while process can't possibly succeed (produce good docs) in
the absence of good learning and writing.

Processes can certainly make life easier and more efficient, if they are
put into place well and are allowed to evolve sensibly. Sadly, they're
too often like the Scient process described in the article.


AOL: MStockman mailto:stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com
AOL Instant Messenger: MStockman

Learn how to develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver!
Dec. 7-8, 2000, Orlando, FL -- $100 discount for STC members. or 800-646-9989.

Your web site localized into 32 languages? Maybe not now, but sooner than
you think. Download ForeignExchange's FREE paper, "3 steps to successful
translation management" at

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: the Web....or web....
Next by Author: Re: usability/usage: preposition to use when referring to window, pag e, or tab
Previous by Thread: Re: Process kills the
Next by Thread: Re: Process kills the

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads