RE: Advice for writing a user manual/documenting business process?

Subject: RE: Advice for writing a user manual/documenting business process?
From: "Lisa Wright" <liwright -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 11:52:03 -0700

<<Kelly Smith: I have a list of managers and business users I can get
information from, and Ihave a project manager who is going to oversee
the project and my interaction with these people. They are all strangers
to me, but they have asked for this book, so I assume they will be
willing to help.>>

Geoff Hart: Bad assumption. <g> After all, you'll be spending a fair bit
of time over the next few months disrupting their deadlines by taking
them away from their paid jobs (the ones _their_ supervisors are using
to evaluate them), often with questions that will seem really stupid to
them. (After all, _they_ already know the answers.) Recognizing that you
will be seen as a drain on their time with no obvious benefit to them,
one of the first things you should do is introduce yourself to each of
these people and begin establishing a friendly working relationship.
This *is* a risk, but I have to say that my experience has been very
different. There *was* a benefit to them. The project I referred to
earlier, everyone was delighted to have me documenting their procedures
and did whatever they could to help. Granted, it wasn't always as timely
as I liked because they had their own responsibilities, but nonetheless,
they were helpful and cooperative.

Do make sure that the managers prep their staff about your visits. Do be
respectful, but don't be a submissive doormat. You are a professional,
and you have a job to do, and you expect their cooperation. If you
project that you think you are wasting their time, they will think it.


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Advice for writing a user manual/documenting business process?: From: Hart, Geoff

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