RE: Quality checks in a techwriting project?

Subject: RE: Quality checks in a techwriting project?
From: "Girardot, David" <David -dot- Girardot -at- dendrite -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 13:35:11 -0400

<Geoff Hart [mailto:Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA]> said:

>You can't measure anything properly until you can define what you're
>measuring, so that definition should be your first step. Are you looking
>ways to catch and eliminate errors? Reviews are the obvious solution.

But more reviews does not necessarily mean less errors. I've learned
through experience that document quality is as much impacted by adequate
development time as it is by adequate reviews. If you don't have adequate
development time, adding more reviews is likely to make the problem worse,
as your already inadequate time will be further reduced due to all the extra
revisions required from the additional reviews.

People keep saying that process metrics ought to focus on the process they
want to improve. Keep in mind that part of a good process is understanding
what it is you are to do and having enough time to do it without rushing or
cutting corners. Keep a mental checklist of items like: a) did I receive a
clear understanding of what I was to produce and how to produce it, b) did I
receive source and supplemental information in a timely fashion, c) was I
given adequate time to complete the draft and all reviews/revisions, d) did
the scope of the project change over time ...

-- David

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