Re: Horrible Situation

Subject: Re: Horrible Situation
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 06:38:32 -0500

After much experience in writing, a lot of which involved
jumping into bad (but not horrible) situations and fixing
them, or maybe not, I've learned that the best approach is
to prepare a documentation plan, whether asked to or not.

The plan is a wonderful tool, because it raises the writer
above the level of slave. In the best circumstances, your
plan will result in a correct assessment of the effort
required, and good treatment of you as part of the team.
In the worst, about all they can tell you is, "I don't
think we need you working on a plan. I think we all
understand what the plan is already." At that point you
can say, perhaps, "Then whatever I do will be acceptable
to you, right?" Or you can just get the hell out because
they've tipped you off to their horrid lack of planning.

Indeed, the time you most need to prepare a plan is when you
are ordered not to write one. It'll help you maintain
sanity as you look for your next job.

In your case, there is still time to write a documentation
plan. It should take you no more than two days to
complete a first draft of the plan. It should take your
boss no more than half an hour to review it. The effort
of making a plan puts someone in control of the
documentation. Right now no one, not even your boss or
his boss, is in control. And the person in control will
be YOU.

Once you have the plan, follow it. Revise it from time
to time to match circumstances.

Don't worry if you don't know how to write a doc plan.
Many techwhirlers already have a plan outline that they
can make available. Or you can find on on the web in
less than half an hour's Googling.

On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 12:04:57 +0530, Tech Comm.... <techcommunicator -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

The application is so big that it has more than 650 screens, how am I
supposed to understand such a huge application in a matter of 1.5
months. Though I was given Knowledge Transfer I had to work on
documentation simultaneously leaving no time to check what I learned
from Knowledge Transfer.

After nearly 1.5 years of developement of product a review was done.

One fine day my Project lead calls and tells the review coments were
bad you did not meet our requirements if not expectations.......

the problem is there was no time for me to work on the executables and
there is no functionality document for me to check.

With limited time prospects I just went thru document...I accept I
should have checked with the application but the time alloted didn't
permit me.

I was alloted 20 minutes for reviewing a screen with 15 - 20 fields.

So where do I stand?

Am I liable for the entire documentation process when I am not in full
control of document.



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Horrible Situation: From: Tech Comm....

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