RE: What do people work from - more -> Agile

Subject: RE: What do people work from - more -> Agile
From: Martha J Davidson <editrix -at- nemasys -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 11:36:40 -0700

At 06:08 AM 8/5/2005, imac wrote:

And in my limited experience, agile methodologies don't play very well
with techpubs departments. I'd be interested to hear from folks who have
had better experiences. It seems to me, however, that agile methods rely
overmuch on the conceit of intuitiveness and self-documenting software,
when that is rarely the case.

My current job and the one before this both used forms of agile software
development and eXtreme programming. I find that the key is listening
to discussions, reading whatever design or scheduling notes *are*
available--often on whiteboards or wiki pages, and asking lots of questions.

Also, at both jobs, I've "trained" the developers to let me know about
changes they've made, sometimes by marking up review copies of my
documents, other times by stopping by my desk and telling me, and
yet other times by copying me on bug reports with a note that the change
needs documenting.

And, there's no substitute for detective work. As I review the docs to
see what needs updating, I go back through the tutorial and procedural
descriptions to see whether the tool still matches or something has
changed that I can just go ahead and fix in the docs.

I guess the short version of all this is that I've become agile in my
documentation process as well. I haven't written a formal doc plan
since the first few versions of the software; since I'm a lone writer,
I use post-its on my desk instead, and no one's missed the doc plans.

Martha Jane {Kolman | Davidson}
Dances With Words
editrix -at- nemasys -dot- com

"Too many words bring about exhaustion."
--Tao Te Ching, Chapter 5 (translated by Sheets/Tovey)


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RE: What do people work from - more: From: Jim Shaeffer
RE: What do people work from - more -> Agile: From: imac

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