RE: What then is the SME/TW functional relationship?

Subject: RE: What then is the SME/TW functional relationship?
From: "Marguerite Krupp" <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 10:28:16 -0500

Because I work in software, the stuff I write about is often only
thinly-defined and partially implemented when I begin writing about it. I
get a copy of the software or a profile on the system running the software
while it's still in development. I try to do things with it. I crash the
system, just like the engineers do<G>. I try to figure things out, based on
my experience with other systems and on my reading of whatever I can get my
eyeballs on that appears relevant. I talk to and listen to a lot of
engineers, especially those in QA. We use whiteboards a lot. I constantly
refine the docs, just as the engineers/implementors refine the software.

Because the software is changing as I write about it, I must rely on SMEs to
verify that the docs I write accurately reflect the state of the product at
the time we ship Beta and final products. This doesn't mean that I don't
know the product. Rather, it's a way of making sure that we catch, or at
least minimize, any discrepancies between what I've written and what they
understand about the product.

The engineers I'm working with are great! They review quickly, communicate
well, and they're very focused. I suspect that this is an artifact of the
development process in which writers participate as part of the team. If I
were to wait until the product is "frozen" before starting the docs, the
process wouldn't work nearly so well.

Just my $0.02,
Marguerite


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References:
What then is the SME/TW functional relationship?: From: Hart, Geoff

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