End User Manual and SharePoint Wiki

Subject: End User Manual and SharePoint Wiki
From: "Jim Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2007 07:17:37 -0800

Good morning, folks!

The following is true and correct. Only the names have been changed to
protect the sane. I'm posting this to get some feedback (I'm looking at
you, Gene ;^)

My Technical Publications group is starting on the end user documentation
for a large ERP project (we've completed the "as is" documentation and this
is posted on our SharePoint site).

The geniuses in upper-management have learned what a wiki is, and they've
decided that the TechPubs group should post the end-user documentation to a
SharePoint wiki as it is written. The purpose of this is to allow the
end-users to edit our material. Here's what I see as the main sticking
points with this:

1. The software application has not been completely developed yet, and the
end-users have never seen a prototype. If they have no benchmark against
which to measure the documentation, and we're handling the formatting and
spellchecking, what value could this add?

2. We have 3000 end-users. If even a fraction of this group made edits, how
could these be effectively maintained, validated and incorporated into the

3. We're writing the help files in RoboHelp and our deadline is unbelievably
tight. How can we possibly write, review and edit the documents that we pass
around within the department *and* maintain edits from ~3000 pseudo-editors?

Believe me when I say that ANY feedback is much appreciated. I've been
chosen to build a case against what the TechPubs group sees as a complete
waste of time.




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