Re: Documentation plans, standards manuals, and more

Subject: Re: Documentation plans, standards manuals, and more
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 08:25:07 -0700 (PDT)

Beverly Robinson wrote...

> As you're new to the list, you may not know yet that Andrew Plato abhors
> standards, structures, and methodologies of any kind, hence his rather flip
> reply

That isn't true, Beverly. I don't abhor them, I just find them "overused".
I've watched numerous writers labor for weeks or months over templates and
style guides only to have them blown away in 30 seconds because they can't
handle some piece of technical information.

Jessica is right on track. If she has free time and needs some management in
her group, then it is a good idea to have some style guides and plans. My
question was something all tech pubs groups should ask themselves: Do we really
need this? What is the specific, tangible benefit we're going to get? How can
we make sure it can accomidate change?

At my firm we have style guides, but they are very basic and it isn't a crime
to disobey them (if you have a good reason). We have plans, but they are simple
task assignments. What we do not do is try to reason out every little aspect of
a document before we write it.

The only way you can really know what a document needs is to sit down and start
working on it.

Andrew Plato

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