Re: Standard Doc Review Cycle-Online/Print Help

Subject: Re: Standard Doc Review Cycle-Online/Print Help
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2006 16:26:34 -0700

Gurpreet Singh wrote:

Hi Friends,

I have a few questions regarding the reviews of documents and I hope
that industry peers might be able to provide me few answers/suggestion
over this.

Are there any industry defined specific review/test cycles that one
can apply in testing or reviewing documents, for both online and print
media? Are these different for print and online help?

Reviews are elemental--I can't think of a single project methodology that doesn't include documentation review cycles.
Pick your key words carefully and try searching again, Gurpreet. For example, googling for 'review cycle methodology' got a description of a review cycle under the heading Reviews, halfway down the page at :

I like's formal steps for evaluating comments, updating the reviewed product to satisfy reviewers, and then putting the revised product back in front of the reviewers.
My organization requires us to iterate similar formal steps as time allows, as long as *anything* changes in the reviewed documents. We use mature, seasoned reviewers to do this for us. This iterative review requirement would cause undue friction with reviewers who are anything less than committed to the process.

A common problem comes with using reviewers who don't have time. Incredibly, they will sometimes sign off an unreviewed document. Avoid this by starting reviews of document pieces instead of waiting for completed documents. Assign the pieces to reviewers who know the material, AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE TIME ALLOCATED FOR REVIEWING.

One further note:
The review iteration requirement also tends to keep tech writers from going back to fiddle with the text after reviews. We're the fiddliest people in technology today. Therefore, it is a good practice to call "Freeze" on a document during reviews, if only to keep the tech writer focused on real work and not endlessly revising finished documents. Tech writers should make note of any late changes they want to make, and push them off until the next version is release. The same is true even for living documents.

Believe me now, or believe me later.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!.
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Standard Doc Review Cycle-Online/Print Help: From: Gurpreet Singh

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