RE: Hearing (or seeing) what isn't there

Subject: RE: Hearing (or seeing) what isn't there
From: "Barb Einarsen" <barb -dot- einarsen -at- navtelcom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 17:03:00 -0500


I've always heard that it is not safe to make assumptions, and that
assumptions should be avoided. But how realistic is that? Better to make
assumptions, and be aware that they are not fact.

I make assumptions all of the time when I'm documenting a new product or
feature. Sometimes the assumption is wrong. More often the assumption is
correct. But I always make sure to verify my assumptions with the
SMEs/people who know.

If I didn't make assumptions, I would take up much more SME time and
energy. I would also take a lot longer to do my job. With an intelligent
use of assumptions, I can make good progress, and use my SMEs as fact
checkers, rather than trainers.

I created Bit Error Rate Test (BERT) documentation about 2 years ago. A
new product (same company) is adding a BERT feature. I assume it will be
very similar, reuse my existing content around the new GUI and
procedure, double check some finer points (differences between ATM and
Ethernet), and then it is off to an early review.

It's worked well so far. Do others work in a similar manner?

Barb Einarsen | Manager of Product Information Development
email barb -dot- einarsen -at- navtelcom -dot- com | Tel +1 905 948 7527 |

Navtel Communications Inc. | 55 Renfrew Drive, Markham, ON L3R 8H3 |
web | Tel +1 905 479 8090 | fax +1 905 475 6524


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