Re: Quality docs (was Re value etc)

Subject: Re: Quality docs (was Re value etc)
From: "Simon North" <north -at- synopsys -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 10:17:14 +0100

Just to add my ten cents. I worked in a software R&D division that
acquired a new manager - who believed that the engineers could
write their own documentation and that a tech writer wasn't needed.
Rather than leave, I transferred to the Software Q&A department
and learnt all about the SEI's CMM and ISO 9000 (we were just
starting the certification process).

While this model is essentially correct:

> Good work + poor system = poor output
> Good work + good system = good output
> poor work + good system = poor output
> poor work + poor system = poor output

There is still one other 'nasty' side. It's a bit of an OT example, but
if your company's business model is to sell useless junk to idiot
customers at grossly inflated prices and disappear quickly as soon
as you've got enough cash ... you can quite happily get ISO 9000
accreditation. None of the quality 'initiatives' says anything about
the 'quality' of the product ... and even if it did, 'quality' is such an
abstract term that it is down to the individual companies to define
for themselves what they understand by the term.

Simon North

Senior Staff Technical Writer, Synopsys GmbH, Herzogenrath, Germany
Author "Teach Yourself XML in 21 Days", Sams.Net ISBN 1-57521-396-6
Geek code block, PGP key on request.

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