RE: Xtreme Documentation and Training

Subject: RE: Xtreme Documentation and Training
From: "McDonald, Guy A." <Guy -dot- A -dot- McDonald -at- usa -dot- conoco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 16:22:11 -0600

M. David Orr wrote:

I'm interested in how my fellow techwhirlers have adapted document
development and training development practices to changing software
development processes, including extreme programming.
Hi David,

I am in the middle of doing just that - making severe changes to an entire
development team. However, my circumstances may not be shared by a person
who works for a large company. Perhaps this could be the crux to what role
tech comm folks play in the SDLC. What do you think?

I believe all "severe" changes to a work group usually require:

1. Subtlety in the face of ignorance.
2. Confidence in one's abilities.
2. Wisdom to not demand the moon but take small steps for mankind.
3. The art of compromise with the intent to still get your way.

Your inclusion of training development practices as ways to a means makes
sense to me. I think quashing ignorance is one of the best things to do on
this planet. And no, this is not a comment coming from pseudo-intellectual
arrogance. This is a comment that comes from being ignorant myself. It is
this attitude that helps me succeed in making a large contribution to our

One of the first things I did here was to conduct informal training
sessions, meetings & talks with software developers and managers. The topics
usually kicked off with a review of Usability Life Cycle, UML, SDLC history
... just to get their juices flowing. All of the developers engaged
themselves enthusiastically --- yeah, I am lucky! It is a joy to watch
people start to realize they are the architects of their workflow and
practices *then* make the cognitive jump into action by changing.

We are now 3 months into this and my department works closely with
development to write functional and design specs. No, this is NOT a typical
data capture of development notes followed by some synthesizing act
performed by a writer. We are considered part of the development team from
product cradle to grave.

For me - I like this learning environment where a great deal of professional
and personal respect exists. I hope you experience likewise.


Guy A. McDonald
Information Development Manager
Technical Information Architects, Inc.
7880 San Felipe Suite #200
Houston, Texas 77063
<mailto:gmcdonald -at- tiainfo -dot- com>
Direct 713.975.0081
Conoco office 281.293.6422
Fax 713.975.9812
Cell 281.935.0721

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