RE: Reviewers who don't review

Subject: RE: Reviewers who don't review
From: "Robotti, Anne \(Carlin\)" <ARobotti -at- CarlinGroup -dot- com>
To: "Ami WRIGHT" <ami -at- ziplink -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 08:57:47 -0400

> John Posada wrote:
> > I'll bet that almost every one of them would like accurate
> > documentation, but what they want more is accurate "whatever they
> > first responsible for". It's a matter of time and being pulled in
> > multiple directions.
> I think you're dead on, John. Nearly everyone I know has more work
> than they could possibly do. That includes the people who are expected
> review documentation. If you make it easy for them, you get a better
> response.

I also think that there are tech writers who think (and act!) like the
documentation is the be-all and end-all of the product. I've seen that
in action, and it's not pretty. Docs are very important, but I've never
met an engineer who didn't know that. The engineers don't work for me,
it's a cooperative relationship, and acting like they're falling down on
the job because they didn't review the documents is just

I find that I can get a lot done by making sure *going in* to the review
that my information is as complete and accurate as possible. I review
the architecture documentation and the software specs, I ask questions
in project meetings about whatever piece of the documents I'm working on
that week - "Have there been any changes to the error messages since we
last spoke?" at a project meeting can save a ton of review time.

I highlight any areas of the document that I feel need careful review
(yes, theoretically it should all be reviewed carefully, whatever) to
give kind of an "if you've only got 15 minutes" benchmark.

I think the people I work with grow to trust that reviewing my documents
isn't going to be a giant time sink that they'll never get out of, and
that makes them more motivated to just get it overwith.

The Lindt truffles on my desk might not hurt either.



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