RE: Writing the User Docs first?

Subject: RE: Writing the User Docs first?
From: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: "Gordon McLean" <Gordon -dot- McLean -at- GrahamTechnology -dot- com>, "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 02:23:36 -0800

Gordon McLean wrote:

> 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?

Not to me.

Years ago, when I was running an engineering-consultation company, I did exactly what you're suggesting... Not because we were (gag) XP developers, but because most of my clients weren't trained engineers, so it was really difficult for them to write good functional specs for the products they wanted me to build.

Writing the User's Manual first, and using that as the functional spec, was VERY beneficial for all involved.

Here's what I had to say on the topic last year:



Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

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Writing the User Docs first?: From: Gordon McLean

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