Re: documentation plans - allocating time

Subject: Re: documentation plans - allocating time
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 18:17:52 -0600

Often, the review process can be compressed with simultaneous review
by many of the parties involved. At one place where I had a similar
project (in terms of size), I distributed the draft to all the SME
types involved and held a review meeting to go over *all* comments and
suggestions. The smaller changes I made right then, during the

(I found that providing refreshments usually increases the attendance,
but I also permitted them just to send their comments in so long as
that was their sign-off).

After making the indicated changes, I redistributed the material with
a notation that if I did not hear of any objections by a particular
time and date, they would be counted as agreeing to the result as-is.

If the doc is essentially sound, the scope of changes should be
relatively small.

As far as managers are concerned, some first-level ones are more
easily managed by submitting pieces of the draft as they are
originally done. That way, the scope of changes later seems to be far
smaller...they are not "surprised" by the draft. As the SME review is
finished and the level 1 manager also gets the more finished doc, it
is often the case that the manager becomes your "champion" to the
second level management. Since they had input during the process, they
have a bit of an emotional investment.

Of course, there are some managers who won't go along with this kind
of process. Tactfully managed, though, it isn't necessarily a huge
barrier to overcome. Something like "I know in the past you have had
substantial input into the document. I would appreciate it if I may
draw on your guidance earlier in the process so we can be sure the
finished product is as good as we can get!"

You didn't specify what your current knowledge of the product might
be...and the time allocation will vary substantially depending upon
that familiarity or lack of it.

Finally, no matter what process you devise, be sure to allow a "fudge
factor" and to get buy-in early about the various "drop-dead" dates
that are built into the schedule. This may entail getting the advance
participation of the various department managers involved, especially
if you anticipate any non-cooperation by the SME folks.

Best of luck!



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Re: documentation plans - allocating time: From: HBacheler

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