RE: Being an Expert

Subject: RE: Being an Expert
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 13:31:39 -0400

Sounds eerily like an experience from my past ...

As doc manager for a project (back in the days of proprietary PCs) we were
developing a PC-like system. We writers noticed that the operating system
people and printing people were not on the same wavelength. I pointed this
out to the project manager who pooh-poohed my concerns.

At the next doc review meeting, I had the Printer folks follow the OS folks.
Since we ran a little late (also by design IIRC), both groups were in the
room at the same time and when the Printer people go to the matter at hand,
all of a sudden he OS people were huddling and pointing and whispering
rather loudly. After the meeting, the OD lead called the project leader over
and said "Houston, we have a problem."

The result: they coded the software to agree with the documentation (which
we had most certainly coordinated).

The moral of the story: You don't have to be an absolute expert. You just
have to listen well and know what to do with the information you get.

And furthermore: in several situations I have been working on absolutely NEW
products that had never been done before. There were no experts - we were
all flying by the seats of our pants. We had to make it up as we went along.

My 2¢,


-----Original Message-----
From: Doc [mailto:doc -at- vertext -dot- org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: Being an Expert


The InfoDev group (that's me and my writers) had raised the alarm two months
earlier while going through our standard task walk-through. Even though we
only had a prototype and a PFS to work with, we could tell that things were
not lining up properly. Our warnings were ignored. The product shipped six
months late. But the QA and SWE team leads both asked to be included in our
walkthrough sessions from then on.

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