Re: Need feedback

Subject: Re: Need feedback
From: "Kat Nagel, MasterWork Consulting" <mlists -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 11:40:39 -0500

At 4:31 PM -0500 3/27/03, Peruzzi, Carol wrote:

Now, whenever they qc a new executable in our suite, they also qc the help, which I think is a good thing. However, now they have started changing my sentences. ... Additionally, they are telling ME where I should put topics in my manuals and my on-line help.

The norm at most software development firms I've dealt with is for QC to enter all their change recommendations for the software into an oonline bug-tracking system, either as part of their software development environment or maintained in a separate network application. These systems include a severity code (showstopper--->it would be nice if...) and are assigned to an Owner (assigned by the project manager; generally the person responsible for that particular code module) who is responsible for fixing the problems identified by QC in order of priority.

Normally, QC does not change the application code; the Owner changes the code. QC then tests the changes, and either closes the Bug Report or bumps it back to the Owner. This way, the burden of actually making the changes is placed where it belongs--on the shoulders of the person responsible.

You need to get the project manager to include documentation (online and printed) in the bug-tracking system and assign you as Owner. QC can attach marked up screen shots of online help to the bug report or send them directly to you with a note of the bug number. And they should be working from *printed* copies of the print documentation, just as the user will, not the electronic source files. The changes they want can be marked on the printed page, or submitted as separate Word or Notepad files, again keyed to the specific bug number.

Gently remind them that documentation is part of the product, just like the application code. QC is responsible for testing the product to ensure that it meets requirements. QC does not change the application code; the Owner changes the code. You are not asking them to do anything new. You are asking them to treat documentation bugs exactly the same way they treat all other product bugs.

Try presenting it that way to your manager and the QC manager first. With their buy-in, it should be easier to convince the troops. And, of course, you will need to install on your computer whatever bug-tracking system the developers use, and learn to use it. In the long run, this will be *much* less hassle that what you are currently dealing with.

Kat Nagel
Owner, MasterWork Consulting Services
Phone: (585) 820-4045 Fax: (585) 244-3565
Business: katnagel -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com
Personal: katnagel -at- bluefrognet -dot- net

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Need feedback: From: Peruzzi, Carol

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