Re: Validating documentation
Is this a natural alliance (i.e. should
techwriters of software be closely linked with SQA)?
In a word, yes! In my experience with a number of software and hardware companies, the systems that generated the least number of customer complaints were those where QA tested/validated the accompanying manuals - and release notes - and where said documentation had to describe how the system worked before any part of the system could be released.
This process rule was regularly objected to by developers and marketing folks, sometimes strenuously. They didn't like the idea that the product might miss its ship date because the documentation was in error. However it usually highlighted the fact that documentation mistakes get through when (1) developers are late with correct information, (2) reviewers are less than thorough with their comments, or (3) writers don't get the resources they need to accomplish last-minute miracles. The best control of this process was at Sun, where doc managers got support from upper management to slip release dates if necessary in order to get the docs correct.
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Validating documentation: From: Jackson, Malkia
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