RE: writing quality

Subject: RE: writing quality
From: Steve Shepard <STEVES -at- YARDI -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 12:56:29 -0800

> From: train2 -at- sprynet -dot- com asks:
> do we know what we write is useful and readable?
> Are there methods for checking? Who tests the documentation?
> Looking for a little feedback here.

We use a three draft system where there is testing/review after each draft.
OK, I lied, don't quite use this system yet, but we are going to with the
next new project or revision of an existing project.

After developing a doc plan, gathering initial information, outlining the
doc, and building a doc shell in Frame, a first draft is written. This first
draft goes to QA. They test it as they test the product, mark it up and
return it. Then a second draft is written. It goes to the SMEs (generally
programmers and/or support techs) for a technical review. They mark it and
return it. Then a third draft is written and while the editor is doing
his/her thing, it goes to the SMEs one last time. Each SME has to sign off
on it stating that they have carefully read through and can vouch for it's
accuracy. Then any additional comments from SMEs are on integrated into it
and a final edit is done before producing a final PDF for print production.

Steven Shepard
Manager, Documentation Group
Yardi Systems, Inc.
819 Reddick Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
steves -at- yardi -dot- com


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