Re: Starting over (long)

Subject: Re: Starting over (long)
From: Michelle Corbin <corbinm -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: "List,Techwriter" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 12:37:16 -0500

> Well...let me tell you...I thought my documentation was pretty much
> spot-on accurate...until now. It is amazing what I learned through
> doing this. Things like poor organizational issues, missing
> procedures, erroneous processes, all kinds of things.
> I don't think my stuff before was poorly written. I think what
> happens is that as you learn about the product you are writing about
> and as you learn the technology, you learn stuff that affects
> everything you've written prior to that point.
> Now...I'm not suggesting that you delete your system and start from
> scratch. I do, however, now believe that everything you've ever
> written needs to be reviewed periodically, and not just immediately
> after it's been written. Give it a few months and then approach it
> with a fresh mind.

Ah -- yes -- the value of having a technical editor on the team and on the
job. :)

Technical editors are often the "first user" of information, reviewing and
editing the material while following and testing the procedures whenever
it is possible to do so (some of the products that I work on require such
enormous set up that it is not always feasible to test/follow all
procedures, but I do try).

Technical editors are that fresh mind, hopefully with the user's bias and
background at the ready. I know, I know, it is unfortunately sometimes
quite rare to have a dedicated technical editor on the team to perform
such tasks, but you do speak to their world when you try to come back and
approach the information with a fresh mind.

Michelle Corbin | Senior Technical Editor & Information Architect | IBM
Software Group, Tivoli Software | 919-224-1477 (tl 687-1477)


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Starting over (long): From: John Posada

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