Re: "Design" was Re: Tech Writing a Growing Field?

Subject: Re: "Design" was Re: Tech Writing a Growing Field?
From: HBacheler -at- aol -dot- com
To: techwr -at- genek -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2007 10:08:27 EDT

If your design is 'flawed', and not documented 'sufficiently' to be
understood by your replacement/subordinates you will have a problem down the

I know of several projects where a person either died, or left for
another engagement. And all of the knowledge that person possessed was

I was working for an organization where the Lead Analyst was in a critical
meeting with the customer. After the meeting he was walking out of the
and a bus came over the curb onto the sidewalk and killed him. The entire
multimillion 'dollar/euro' project had to be scrapped because he was not
and had NOT documented critical informaiton.

A technical writer has experience in several areas that enable him/her to
AID in the documentation of your design.

When I was just getting into the CMM area, I was told that a 'successful
project' should have a technical writer assigned as soon as the project
manager, the QA, and the configuration Management personnel were selected.
This ensured consistency of the documentation

Peer reviews are NOT managementt reviews, and serve a different purpose.

Peer reviews, whether walkthrough, technical discussions, or final
should be conducted from day one. This review process encompasses all of
various organizational entities, who get a chance to review, comment, and
revise 'everything' that makes up the project. The technical writer is an
integral part of this process.

Whenever a technical writer, either 'full-time' of 'part-time', is assigned
to a project, he/she brings corporate/experience knowledge that might be of
benefit to
all concerned.

In some organizations the technical writer is assigned to
the Quality Assurance organization.

As a technical writer I do not have "to understand ... process for designing
a planetary gear train," I am there to support you in documenting the
process. You are the Subject Matter Expert (SME) and it is my assigned job
to support you in documenting the process. After I document the process, it
is your job to ensure that what I documented it correctly and I did not miss
anything. We are a team, sometimes only 2 people, sometimes the entire
staff working on the project

Remember - you are the teacher of your subordinates, and it is your
responsibility to share your knowledge with them. I am there to help you do

I personally have been in software, hardware, and operational environments
where my exposure to other areas helps me ask the questions that will help
you do that.

I believe that all/most technical writers have the same viewpoint.

(an old grey/gray hair)

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