RE: Development Procedures - where do you come in?

Subject: RE: Development Procedures - where do you come in?
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 16:20:05 -0500

Interesting topic, Peggy, and one where I hope there will be near unanimity.

At my company, writers are involved in just about every stage of design and
development. We develop our software products using cross-functional teams -
writers, developers, QA, and Product Managers all work together to define
what it is we're going to do, how we're going to do it, and then work
together to get it all done. It has support from the top of the company
down, and we can't imagine working any other way. As a result, we have been
highly productive and the product is well received.

This approach works for several reasons - it brings many varied viewpoints
to bear on the problem early; it uses people's different strengths and
perspectives to analyze the situation, and when we are in the middle of
deciding what we going to be doing, we all know it's realistic and makes
sense. It makes it much easier to estimate how long things will take too,
and we have rarely missed a deadline by more than a few days.

So ... put me in the "as early as possible, and it's not possible to be too
early" camp.

John

John Garison
Documentation Manager
IDe
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742

Voice: 978-402-2907
Fax: 978-318-9376
http://www.ide.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Pegasus Writer [mailto:pegasuswriter -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002 3:28 PM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Development Procedures - where do you come in?



Good afternoon:

I hope this topic is not too much of a re-hash. I know there have been
similar threads of discussion in the past, but my search on Techwhirl
archives didn't produce exactly what I'm looking for and perhaps this will
be of interest to others as well.

Here's the situation...The company I work for has been in business since the

80s and has never had a formal engineering development procedure (probably
not particularly unique). Product development has been very informal and
while this company has been very successful, many here believe that formal
development procedures could help eliminate many of the headaches of the
past. So, we are in the process of developing a company engineering
development procedure manual and I've been asked to provide them with my
recommendations for when to bring the Tech Writer into the process, hence
this email.

Before completing my response to our V.P., I'd be interested in hearing from

as many of you as care to respond.

1.) I'd like to know if you are involved in the early stages of product
development. If so, how early -- like preliminary design meetings?
2.) How useful is it to you to be involved in these early meetings?
3.) Do you provide a preliminary design of online help and manuals?
4.) Do you participate in peer reviews?
5.) Other opinions,issues, advice or ideas along these lines?


Thanks,
Peggy Lee
Lone Technical Writer

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