RE: Slow Tech Writers (offshoot of "Looking for advice -- up to t he j ob?")

Subject: RE: Slow Tech Writers (offshoot of "Looking for advice -- up to t he j ob?")
From: Jason Willebeek-LeMair <jlemair -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 09:05:52 -0500

letoured -at- together -dot- net wrote:

Call it what you want, but some of us think in different terms; like
first-tier projects that need first-tier writers, second-tier projects, etc.
Why there are even industries that expect it to be done right because
people can be killed, and/or thousands of dollars lost if the writer makes
error and no one catches it before they turn the juice on during a test --
you know, the little things that count world or writing.

Jason replies:

Interesting that you should take my post as a reflection of the quality or
completeness of documentation. My intent was only to comment on the speed
at which it is produced and suggest effective ways to effectively integrate
people with different inclinations in time-to-market situation.

Space shuttle control programs, hardware, etc. are typically quality-driven,
not time-to-market-driven. Word processors, network management apps, and tax
software are usually the opposite.

I purposely avoided the "tier" appellation because it is vague. What is a
first-tier project? Typically, one with the highest revenue potential. Or,
it could be the CEO's pet project. A first-tier writer? Probably based on
more than speed. If I had a writer who was fast, but the documentation the
writer produced was consisently inaccurate, that writer would not be
first-tier. Probably would not be employed for very long, either.

"Do it right the first time" is an admirable adage. I wish more development
shops would take it to heart rather than just display it on posters.
However, just because something is done right does not mean it cannot be
improved. It is the balance of nice-to-have vs. need-to-have. In every
project, you have both. The need-to-haves prevent folks from killing
themselves, losing money, or getting pissed off because they can't figure
out the product. The nice-to-haves make them say "wow, they really put a lot
of thought into this".



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