Subject: Responsibility
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 15:38:32 -0400

I had an interesting discussion about 3 weeks ago with 2 developers and our
manager as we were standing outside his office just before he took off for
vacation. I happen to mention that the reason I continually review the
content of my documentation with them on a regular basis (sometimes several
times a month) is that since our system is a moving target (continually
being adjusted and tweaked), by continually reviewing, I can catch changes
to the system even when they forget to tell me something has changed.

My boss throws out the comment (I kid you not) "That's good, because you
know who is responsible for the accuracy of the content, right?" I shot
right back "ME!" (ooh, on me, I know this one)

His response? "No, they are." pointing to the developers.

As background, here's how the division of responsibility works. I'm
responsible for asking the right questions (the way my manager defines it:
"Reading the developers' minds" and I'm responsible for making sure the
information is presented in the right form for it's purpose and audience.

OTOH, the developers are responsible for making sure that their answers are
accurate and for letting me know when they've made a change to something
that has already been documented.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
NY: 212-414-6656
Dayton: 732-438-3372
"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream
of things that never were, and ask why not?"
-----Robert Francis Kennedy, 1968 presidential campaign


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