RE: maturity

Subject: RE: maturity
From: "Cekis, Margaret" <Margaret -at- mediaocean -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 14:52:02 -0500

Alex Silbajoris [mailto:alsilba -at- hotmail -dot- com] discussed "maturity" in a
review process:

"...for the third time, I'm telling the admins that we need en established
review process. As it is now, I'm sending out drafts like bullets into fog.
The problem is
that no one sees any worth in a review process; as with documentation in
general, it's pushed down to a low priority when time allotment is

"I don't want an elaborate model like the Hackos-based approach.... I would
simply like a reliable process of consideration of materials before they go
out to their intended audiences. To me, that would indicate a step
toward maturity for this company."
A long time ago, when I was considered the technical "Editor" not the
"Writer", the research organization I worked for used a simple one-page
document status form that listed the document name; the writer's name, the
date the document was received, the editor's name; the "sent to author's
review" date and both the "due" and "actually returned" dates; the "sent to
manager" and the "due" and "returned" dates; then the "corrections
completed" date; the "final approval" date; the "sent to printer" date; and
the scheduled availability date for the completed manuals.

The editor kept the original, and a copy was attached to any review copies
that were sent to anyone else. If a review was seriously overdue, another
copy of the status form with the missed "due date" circled was sent to the
appropriate manager or department head. Usually this resulted in someone
besides the editor putting pressure on the reviewer who was late (or
ordering him to return the document without the review). This also kept the
powers that be aware of who was holding up a scheduled release, and by how
much. This was before every writer and editor had a desk-top PC. Today it
could be done using e-mail. Once you put all your typical document
milestones on a form, it takes very little time to fill in a few blanks and
spit out an updated form when needed. It is also a good status tool to use
when answering questions about what is holding up whatever document.

At least it is one approach that I think requires very little overhead time
and effort.

Margaret Cekis
Margaret -at- mediaocean -dot- com

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