How important is up-to-date documentation? Was: RE: Gnaargh! Or, I Am Not Psychic

Subject: How important is up-to-date documentation? Was: RE: Gnaargh! Or, I Am Not Psychic
From: "Martinek, Carla" <CMartinek -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 11:05:57 -0500

Below is the text of an email someone just posted on an editors list I'm
on. If you ever start to think that up-to-date documentation isn't
important, read on. Or better yet, share it with those in your company
who think that the docs just don't matter.

What are the ramifications of your documentation? Do you know if it has
potential life-or-death implications? It probably does, but you need to
think beyond the first degree of use. Our bar code printers seem pretty
innocuous, but those bar codes are used in health care to track patient
care, pharmaceuticals to track and dispense medications, and in the
airline industries to track parts and equipment.

Our product isn't a direct life-or-death item, but it's used in
situations that can be.

cmartinek | zebra | com

The next time we have someone who doesn't want to spend the money or
take the time to keep documentation up to date, we should point them to
today's news:

1) This morning, it came out that a possible factor in the Comair crash
a couple of weeks ago was that the pilots' charts were not updated to
reflect changes to the Kentucky airport's taxiways.

2) Downtown Atlanta traffic was tied in knots today and will be for an
indefinite period of time. Six high rises and a major hotel have no
water. All because a backhoe hit a major water main.

The reason? They never updated the documentation to show that the
pipeline had been moved. The reason it's probably going to take days to
fix? The documentation, being out of date, doesn't have the correct
location for the shutoff valve.

They're going over all the streets (which are a foot underwater) with
metal detectors and digging test holes trying to find the valve.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, and may also be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not review, use, copy, or distribute this message. If you receive this email in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply email and then delete this email.

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Re: Gnaargh! Or, I Am Not Psychic: From: circe

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