Writing the User Docs first?

Subject: Writing the User Docs first?
From: "Gordon McLean" <Gordon -dot- McLean -at- GrahamTechnology -dot- com>
To: "'Techwr-l'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 09:11:51 -0000

Note: I work in a Dev team that uses the XP (Agile) development methodology.

Given that, in XP, there is a focus on little to no documentation during the
design/build of the software, I've been pondering how the Publications team
can fill that gap, namely by writing as complete a draft as early as
possible and getting buy-in from the Dev team that they'll use the user docs
whilst developing the software.

Sound odd? Yeah it might.

We sit in on early design discussions and at that point we can start to
capture the whys and whats, fleshing out the main concepts and viewing each
story (the large chunk of work the Dev team work on) from the point of view
of the user. Once those stories are futher broken down into smaller chunks
of work, we too will have a better idea of what is involved and can update
the documentation accordingly.

It will mean working closely with development, but we do that already, and
hopefully this will provide the (currently missing) big picture information
and view.

Am I barking mad? Anyone working in XP (or any other Agile environment) care
to chip in? Are our processes broken?


(I've written more on this: www.onemanwrites.co.uk)

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