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[a bug tracking system such as GNATS]
> automatically keeps track of each request, and it is easy to
> get info on the status of the requested changes.
> Yet a very possible disadvantage in that a project coodinator
> could end up spending a lot of time handling many individual
> change requests (evaluating, assigning, etc) for many minor
> changes (rewording of sentence, word change, spelling
> change). In cases of minor changes, the time required for a
> quality assurance tester to report the change (indicate a
> clear change report title, write up description, indicate
> place in manual, etc) could easily take 2-3 times more
> effort and handling time than making the text corrections
> in a Word document and a technical writer keeping track of
> changes in a spreadsheet.
Automated change request and bug tracking systems are a Good Thing. The
extra time taken by tracking changes is more than made up for when you
point to the date and version of the document in which said change was
made. I've tracked document changes in Bugzilla for about a year now and
find it far easier on my memory than the yellow stickies I was using at
a previous job.
I love tracking documentation the same way as the code because it keeps
documentation issues in front of the QA Team's eyes. If I have
outstanding bugs, then the QA Manager will inquire about them rather
than releasing the code and causing me to rush around to complete
I consider GNATS and their ilk to be signs of a more mature
development/documentation organization. They force you to formalize how
you handle your documentation process.
Megan Golding (mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- net)
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