Re: If You Were Gonna Teach...

Subject: Re: If You Were Gonna Teach...
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 09:24:55 -0700

Your reluctance to assume this task is well-founded, for the reasons
you've stated. Be afraid - be very afraid!

Is there a chance you could spin/modify this assignment? Rather than
teaching them, what if you were to instead devote the energy that would be
spent on preparing this class to developing a document or process that
defined what you want from SMEs?

This might simply the task of getting them to share the contents of their
bulging foreheads with you. Perhaps you could develop a form or template
that dictates what information you need from them, and how to provide it.
For example:

1. Name of product or mofication
2. High level function - what does it do?
3. Benefit - why is this useful/ necessary?
4. Modules affected by this
5. Changes to UI - inlcuding names of screens affected
6. Steps for using the product/module/function

...and so on. Obviously you would NOT ask them to provide any information
you should already have gleaned from specs and such, so the above topics
may not apply, but you get the idea.

With each section of the form you could add instructions clarifying what
you need from them.

This approach focuses on making sure you get the information you need,
rather than on improving the quality of their writing. This way you get
the raw content, and it's up to you to digest, assemble, and WRITE the
actual documentation.

I don't know if you have the leeway/clout to make such a suggestion, but
it might be worth a try. Good luck!

- Keith Cronin

I'm just a hunka hunka burnin' sig.

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