RE: Bouncing Reality Checks

Subject: RE: Bouncing Reality Checks
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 13:03:59 -0500


Guys, guys...it was only a question and it should be possible to answer
objectively why it was important that the accuracy be as much as
possible...(100% is never realistic).

Have none of you asked questions that you knew to be in wired to elicit the
answer that you wanted, even if it was to only get it on the record?

Understand that not everyone has the same priorities, and they shouldn't
have. To us, 100% is desirable at the expense of other things. To others,
getting out the door at the lowest cost is a priority to someone else. It
is a balancing act. Tech docs is part of the whole team, not sitting in a
corner going "Whaa....they don't understand!! ...an error and they don't
care.....whaaa....."

-Doc wants 100% accuracy, which they cannot have
-Marketing was every feature that every competitor has, which they cannot
have
-Accounting was 400% profit margin, which they cannot have
-Development was 100% reusable code for 50 other products, which they cannot
have.

When a question like that is put on the table, just answer it objectively
with business objectives in mind, and if you ca justify your response,
(which you should be able to), then you may not get what you want, but
you'll get what you need.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
Barnes&Noble.com
jposada -at- book -dot- com
212-414-6656
"Be accurate...the 4am wakeup call you prevent could be your manager's"



-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Murrell [mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2002 12:19 PM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Bouncing Reality Checks



Just wanted to check in with another reality update from the trenches.

I sat in a meeting the other day discussing the documentation of a new
system
capability. THE Subject Matter Expert on this particular capability asked,
"Do we
want this documentation to be 100% accurate? Or is pretty close good enough
for our
needs?" It seems that he was concerned with whether or not he actually
needed to
review the documentation, since it wasn't for him. HE knows the system.

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