Help on Coordination between Engineers and Technical Witers

Subject: Help on Coordination between Engineers and Technical Witers
From: Iliana Kostova <i_kostadinova -at- prosyst -dot- bg>
To: techwr-l
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 18:29:42 +0200

Hi there!

It's Iliana Kostova, a manager of a publications department. I've been doing this for about 4 years.

At my company we're trying to improve the coordination process between developers and technical writers. The problem is that sometimes technical writers don't get notified of software changes or new features that should be present in the user documentation. And vise versa, it may happen that developers don't know if something is changed in the documentation and they don't check it for correctness. We're seeking for a way to define a formal process to solve this issue and place it in our quality management system (it's based on ISO 9001).

My company offers products, made of several projects. The input for our activity is software requirement specifications (I think they should be similar to product requirement specifications). But sometimes, they are completely out-of-date and turn out to be almost useless. A kind of solution is to check for changes all projects once a week, but this becomes a nightmare when there are more than 30 projects within a product.

How do you proceed in such situations? Do you have special meetings with the development team, discussing what the documentation should contain. Do you think that technical writers should attend the meetings discussing the design of a project? Here, these meetings are too "technical".

Btw. I've looked at the "Is this a typical technical writing environment?" topic and I've found some useful information there. I've also searched the archive, but haven't succeeded yet to find something that I can use.

Thank you in advance for you help.

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