Re: How do you manage changes to names

Subject: Re: How do you manage changes to names
From: Beth Agnew <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 11:31:45 -0400

I attempt to use variables for product names whenever possible.
FrameMaker makes this a lot easier, but as has been pointed out, product
names crop up in all sorts of places that don't allow for variables. The
main thing is to make it _very clear_ to the product manager (or whoever
is wont to change a product name) that this is never just a simple
matter of "search and replace".

I tell my clients/employers that a name change is a two-week event added
to the release schedule. It may not take us two weeks to change all the
instances of a product name, but I certainly don't want them thinking
it's something trivial. When they have to weigh bumping the release
schedule by two weeks against going with the perfectly acceptable
product name they started with, they realize that a name change takes
considerable thought and planning, affects multiple departments, and
should not be done on a whim or at the last minute.

I confess that being advised of a name change a few days before product
release prompted the only time I ever yelled at a product manager.
Usually, I am much more restrained. (I just get out the voodoo doll
instead.) And it wasn't just me -- the developers had embedded the
product name in the code such that there were things like prodname32.dll
everywhere in a massive software program. While a lot of that would
still work making sure they didn't break anything when changing the name
that would display was a bit of a challenge. Marketing was not amused,

The only way to make it go down a lot smoother is to plan for it,
leaving plenty of time for everyone affected to make the change properly.

Beth Agnew, Professor
Co-ordinator, Technical Communication Program
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON.

Daniel Ng wrote:

>When product names change, it affects various things from marketing
>collateral, user guides source, guide, help systems, file names, setup
>routines, labels, procedures, screenshots.
>What do you do to make it go down a lot smoother?


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How do you manage changes to names: From: Daniel Ng

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