Re: Knowledge Base Guidelines

Subject: Re: Knowledge Base Guidelines
From: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Nicole Bogdanovic <NICNRADI -at- shaw -dot- ca>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2005 11:55:39 -0800 (PST)

Nicole:

A ways back I asked members of this listserv what
writing skills are. The general consensus I got was
that skill in structured writing is the most important
thing. I then did a fair amount of research on
structured writing and asked the members on this
listserv what it is. That is were I ran into a big
snag.

Outside of some lossey-gossey sound bites and some
document formatting considerations (a relatively minor
thing), I was unable to identify any specific,
concrete steps involved in structured writing.

The best definition of structured writing I got was
from the man who is generally credited with having
"invented" it, Charles Horn. On the Infomapping web
site (Infomapping is just a commercial implementation
of structured writing), Horn states that, in the main,
structured writing is really all about analysis.

As someone very experienced in structured analysis,
hearing that structured writing is really all about
analysis really scrambles my mind. Since it is
relatively easy to identify the specific, concrete
steps involved in structured analysis, I conclude that
structured writing is - in the main - some sort of
less rigorous adaptation of structured analysis.

If you want your structured writing guidelines to be
more than formatting standards/guidelines (again, a
relatively minor thing) and lossey-gossey sound bites,
then take it from Horn and focus your energies on
techniques for properly structuring an analysis.
(Note: Such a focus will also naturally lead you to
the best flow charting techniques and the best in
usability.)

Tony Markos


--- Nicole Bogdanovic <NICNRADI -at- shaw -dot- ca> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I've been asked by our Support Team to help them set
> up a new Knowledge Database and create guidelines
> for writing/structuring articles.
>
> Does anyone have some experience in this area? Can
> you send me some pointers about what works and what
> doesn't, any recommended reading/resources, tips and
> pitfalls, troubleshooting flowchats, etc?
>
> The intended audience is our software end-users
> (municipal clerical staff mostly, with low to medium
> technical knowledge/ability) and our purpose is to
> help them problem solve on their own.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> ~Nicole.
>




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Follow-Ups:

References:
Knowledge Base Guidelines: From: Nicole Bogdanovic

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