Re: The role of tech writers when working with business/systems analysts
The systems analyst and business analyst are both our best friends and our
most useful resource within a company. Without them, we have to take on
aspects of those roles to be able to create useful documentation.
Here's an additional way of looking at the respective roles of the business analyst, systems analyst, designer, and tech writer.
In the context of the software development lifecycle [standard acknowledgment that not everyone works in the software business], the business analyst distills the customer's expression of their needs and desires into a functional requirements document. The tech writer can be helpful in ensuring that the requirements document is clear, logical, unambiguous, non-tautological, and well organized. Some business analysts can do this without the help of a writer or editor, but many cannot.
The systems analyst takes the functional requirements and looks for the constraints that determine hardware and software platform requirements, and the like. (Performance requirements may limit the choices of languages the software can be written in, for example, or basic architectural factors like how the tiers are organized.) Again, the tech writer can help the systems analyst write a system requirements document that is clear, unambiguous, etc.
The designer creates a design spec that should (a) satisfy the functional requirements and (b) lay out in detail the entire user interface and the result of every user interaction (what business logic is launched when the user clicks this button, etc.). The better this document is constructed and edited, the faster and easier the coding and QA will proceed. In addition, a good design spec enables the writer to generate user documentation in parallel with software coding and it enables the QA team to build their test plans and test cases at the same time, too. So there is a major role for the tech writer in working with the designer.
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RE: The role of tech writers when working with business/systems analysts: From: Beth Agnew
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