The Documentation Being Put Through Qual Assistance Process

Subject: The Documentation Being Put Through Qual Assistance Process
From: Agnes Starr <zigrocstarr -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2006 21:26:18 -0700 (PDT)

Hello Techwhirl

At my job we just had a reorganization and they put documentation under Quality Assurance of all places. Our documentation is fully RoboHelp - fully electronic. They want to put the documentation fully through the Quality Assurance process which means that it is run through the Bug write-up process. They told me that this means that I have to learn the Quality Assurance process and employ that same process for the upkeep of the documentation. First the "Development" phase, and then the Qual Assurance first phase, then it goes back to Development for Development Second Phase (which means Documentation) and then the Qual Assurance Second phase and then it is "Production Ready. They told me that I have to oversee all of this for me, (I am the only person documenting) and for two Quality Assurance people who are assigned to review the documentation.

I have a question. Everywhere I have ever worked, in order to put the documentation through a review cycle, we had "Levels of Edit." We had the levels of "SMEs". We didn't have it run through the Quality Assurance department like is done for software. But then again I have never worked anywhere that was 100% electronic. We have always done it where it was first a peer review edit, then the programmer, then the manager, then a person close to the customer, some type of SME. That was our type of "Quality Control" process.It was levels of edit because it is writing that is to be read and understood. It is not production and deadlines. It was not this type of "Quality Control" process.

I feel like I am being given a new hat and I am not sure I like it, or that I have the background. I can handle it if I am trained but it is like strict deadlines with all this talk of production schedules and keeping up with where the Quality Assurance people are which is not even my department. I have never had to do this.

Did I just miss something in my career path? Is this a common way of doing things? An uncommon way? Is it wise? Unwise? Or neither?

Can someone give me some idea or their thoughts about what I am being asked to do because it feels weird. This does not feel like documentation. My new boss is a QA person and knows little to nothing about documentation. His only way of judging me is whether or not a deadline is met. His only way of judging the documentation is whether we can make it fewer topics so that we have less to maintain and if we can shorten the topics.Nothing is about how well things are explained and developed for the user. It is like his whole orientation is from a Qa standpoint and my new hat just feels like it is very production and QA oriented.

Your thoughts?

Agnes S.

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