Making them read the documentation

Subject: Making them read the documentation
From: "S Godfrey" <kittenbreath -at- lycos -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 08:58:52 -0700

I've searched the archives on this, but have not found a satisfactory answer. And, perhaps it needs discussing again.

The question: how do you get those darn users to read your beautiful technical documentation?

In my company, not only our users, but our installation people fail to refer to the manual. I set it up to be either read, or quickly referred to. But still, our installation people repeatedly ask engineering the most basic questions - ones that are answered easily in the manual. For whatever reason, no one wants to read it.

Maybe it's the format (in a binder--also offered online as PDF). Maybe they're just lazy. All I know is, I can't seem to relate to them because I personally read manuals and instructions when I have equipment that I need to know how to operate.

I know you will all have different ideas for me, that's what I love about this list, especially since I have trouble separating myself from the problem.

This ties in with a bigger question: if they're not reading it, why is it (or me) necessary? Can the answer be only that documentation is necessary for those few people who actually do read the manual?

Sierra Godfrey

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