Re: Quality of source material from Development

Subject: Re: Quality of source material from Development
From: "Christensen, Kent" <lkchris -at- sandia -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 09:14:20 -0700

re: The product is not functional so testing and working with it is

Isn't there a project plan or design brief that lists what the product is
supposed to do? In some detail?

Something like this should exist very close to the point if not before the
time coding starts. It's the "blueprint" for the design, of course, but it
can also be seen as representing an outline of the user manual. (Nice thing
about software.) Not every software house does this, of course, but if they
did things might improve. The writer could get a head start and have the
manual started before "the product is functional" by having access to the
plan. Better yet, being there when the plan is first put together and then
being there throughout.

Again, I say it's too passive for the tech writer to wait until everything
is handed to him. No ... it's too passive for tech writers to wait until
everything is handed to them. If that's the way it works where you work,
change it. Otherwise, tech writing might as well be outsourced there.

and ...

re: The value that tech writers add is ensuring consistency in syntax and
language, identifying incomplete areas, adding usage instructions, turning
everything into English, etc, etc.

This is editing as opposed to tech writing. It can be outsourced as well.

Hey, the point is to not dwell on how much the subject matter expert can
help you, but rather on how much you help them. They're in charge and they
should organize the business to maximize your utility. Like getting you
involved at the beginning, etc. Their expectations should be high.

Collect Royalties, Not Rejection Letters! Tell us your rejection story when you
submit your manuscript to iUniverse Nov. 6 -Dec. 15 and get five free copies of
your book. What are you waiting for?

Have you looked at the new content on TECHWR-L lately?
See and check it out.

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