Re: More on Validating documentation
So, in your experience, are relationships with developers
really as non-existent or dysfunctional as some threads on
TECHWR-L would suggest? Is there really no sense of
"we're all working together to make this overall product
as good as we can make it"?
Personally, I've never had much trouble getting cooperation from SMEs. (This may be because, for over half my career, I was one <g>.) I have more of a problem with territory-building (or protecting) people who won't contribute all their talents to the team because "that's not my job".
In my experience, both as a technical writer and in my previous life as an R&D chemist and product engineer, about a third of the teams I've worked with have been seriously dysfunctional---some in ways that make the TECHWR threads look like pleasant bedtime stories. Fortunately, I've also worked with many wonderful teams where the product and the ultimate customer were truly the prime focus, and where everybody pitched in to make sure that every aspect of the project was successful.
Sometimes, health of the team was due to the behavior of one or two people on the team or of a particular manager. Usually, though, the success of a team had less to do with the attitudes of individual team members than with the overall culture of the company. If the company culture was goal-oriented and collaborative, then teams usually worked well. If it was a blame-centered culture, successful team collaboration was more difficult to achieve.
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