Re: taking too long

Subject: Re: taking too long
From: "William Turner" <whturner -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 12:9:59 -0700

Thanks, Andrew, for your reply.

Yes, you're right that the timely answer to Genevieve is that she needs to
submit status reports. My post dealt more with how to avoid getting into
her situation.

Regarding your question on why Pubs should sign off on engineering plans,
one reason is that techwriters need to assess their ability to deliver the
appropriate documentation given existing resources. For example, the draft
of the engineering plans for one of my products included a discussion of
what it would cost to localize the product in terms of using the same
engineering resources to develop other features requested by Marketing. My
response, as the Pubs representative, was to explain how much more
localized documentation would cost than would the documentation of the
alternative features. The financing discussion then goes to Marketing and

Another reason why a writer should sign off on engineering plans was
covered by my second post yeaterday, which described how techwriters serve
as part of the engineering team at IBM, partly because of the convergence
of software interfaces and the documentation. In brief, IBM expects
writers to learn the needs of their audience by interviewing them and
observing their use of the product. IBM also expects its writers to get
training in interface design, so that the customer contact helps the writer
to assess what is needed not only in the documentation but also in the
product interfaces.

--Will Turner

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