RE: The End Of Technical Writing

Subject: RE: The End Of Technical Writing
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 16:55:08 -0400

Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote on 10/28/2004 03:31:51 PM:
> * Total dollars spent in analysis for the project
> before Tony and his Data Flow Diagrams arrived on
> scene = $25 Million. (Ain't got the hours, just the
> dollars, but you get a pretty good idea of hours from
> this figure.)

> * Total time Tony took, using Data Flow Diagrams, to
> redue the essential part of the above analysis - this
> time correctly: Six (6) working days.

You're talking a significant beast here. I'm not sure how the 25 million
is relevant to the writing task nor what it encompassed, so it's a bit of
a red herring. Plus your DFDs are really insignificant to the rest of the
project. Seeing as the project already had a huge "analysis" phase, you've
simply continued the corporate culture. It allows you to do analysis as a
separate step.

> Experiencing the true power of data flow diagrams is a
> very, very invigorating experience. Like I said
> before, after such an experience, going back to the
> "old way" of tech comm is boring!

Well you haven't convinced me that you aren't seeing the world through the
effects of the Kool-aid.

But you are really irritating me on one key point. What the heck is the
"old way"? How do you have any concept of how I or any other techwriter
not working in your exact same circumstances would proceed or how they
operate in their current situation? By what trick of omnipotence do you
figure the correct solution/approach in your situation is the correct
solution/approach in every other situation?

Having been brought into a project with 25 million already spent on
analysis I think every techwriter would spend six days or so trying to
simplify the existing information in one way or another.

> Tony Markos:

> That pretty diagram (actually it was about six sheets
> of notebook paper tapped together, and it still looked
> like heck), was THE major factor in securing $125
> Million - next year alone - in funding for this very
> large scale government project.

Hmm. Government. Sorry but that seals it. Your situation is probably VERY
different from the situation of many/most on the list.

> It is only by dying (i.e., following the flow of data)
> that we are borne again (i.e., come to understand the
> underlying logic of a system).

Now you've only convinced me Kool-aid is involved.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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RE: The End Of Technical Writing: From: Tony Markos

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