No time to learn it all

Subject: No time to learn it all
From: karen_otto -at- agilent -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 09:41:45 -0700

Hi all,
It's been an interesting thread on how much should a TW know in order to
properly document a product. I personally have been hired as a person who
can understand the product with enough technical depth to independently
write for a very technical audience, generally engineers.

However, I don't get to do it my way this time. Remember the adage "Good,
Fast, Cheap - Choose Any Two?"

Well, my company chose Cheap for me by laying off 3 colleagues. My project
managers chose Fast by refusing to move schedule on a project that would
have been staffed by the laid off people. This means I'm the one who has to
compromise on Good.
Actually, that's not quite true. The project has offered R&D resources to
help me out.
The project itself is to adapt a current documentation set from web-based
documentation directed at manufacturing personnel who write programs to a
help file directed at development engineers who do not write programs. So
it's a platform change, a user change, and a purposing change from
programming to manual use.

The choice I have made to get help from R&D is to have them cut down my
learning curve. They will review the current product documentation and mark
it up for things that change from one platform to the next. By using their
knowledge of the product, I (unfortunately) won't have to learn it before I
start editing.

I will do a kickoff meeting with the reviewers to make sure they understand
what to do and what not to do. They will be provided with a checklist of
items to look for.
I ask you, dear tech-whirlers, how can I make sure I get the most out of the
reviewers?

karen otto
karen_otto -at- agilent -dot- com

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