RE: QA for technical writing

Subject: RE: QA for technical writing
From: "Habegger, Nolan" <nolan -dot- habegger -at- dyonyx -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 08:43:25 -0600

We use a standard 4 stage editing process:

1. Content Accuracy and Continuity
2. Grammar/Punctuation/Clarity/Conciseness, etc.
3. Style Standards
4. Legal Standards

We created our procedures from our Development QA model, and plagiarized
their procedures and methodologies.

QA has a LOT to do with adherence to policy. If you have no style guide, no
approval process, no standardized templates, etc., you need to begin by
carving those things into stone. That supplies you with a measuring stick.
Then create procedures based on REAL processes, not what you would LIKE the
process to be. Many times as you document what is REALLY going on, you will
see opportunities for improvement and optimization. Trace the workflow and
paper/e-trail just like you would if you were documenting it for a client.

Quality in tech writing can take many forms dependent upon the environment.
When I worked in Engineering support, the document templates were actually
documented in specifications, so that an Engineer could say, "Hey, isn't
this supposed to be 14 point Arial bold?".

Just some quick thoughts...hope they are helpful. Feel free to contact me
offline for more information.

Nolan Habegger
Technical Communications Coordinator

office: 713.830.5900 x:207
cell: 832.443.6583
email: nolan -dot- habegger -at- dyonyx -dot- com

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