RE: KM=BS (mostly)

Subject: RE: KM=BS (mostly)
From: Jim Shaeffer <jims -at- spsi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 10:00:06 -0500

Andrew Plato wrote:
> Any decent professional should document their reasons for
> doing things as a matter of practice.

That may or may not be true, but it seems very rare in
practice. Cases in point:
1. I know of developers who are wrestling with 3rd party
components that were selected by developers who are no
longer around. No one knows why those choices were made.
2. I should probably document the 'why' of some tool
choices I've made over the years. If I did, though, there's
no place to put that documentation so other people would
find it.
3. Customers request changes that seem logical. However,
if we talk the right person in our company, they will know
the historical reason why the changes should not be made.
Talking to the 'right person' seems, often, to be a matter
of good luck.

Knowledge Management may, in part, just be an attempt to
address these inadequacies in "common practice" and to
create holders for such knowledge that do not currently
exist in _most_ organizations.

Question: Do any current Technical Writing education
programs address documenting the 'why'?

Jim Shaeffer (jims -at- spsi -dot- com)

Personal Note: I drafted a post on this theme yesterday
that was considerably more heated. Andrew has pushed a
hot button that I did not know I had. That's something
worth knowing. Thanks.

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