SMEs/QA don't have time to review the documentation?

Subject: SMEs/QA don't have time to review the documentation?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, SB <sylvia -dot- braunstein -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 09:19:06 -0400

SB wondered: <<I would like to know how you are getting the material
when doing the technical writing and how it should be done.>>

Reviews are always a challenge, and if you don't have strong
management support for the process, it can be extremely difficult to
succeed. Nonetheless, it can be done. The key is to recognize two
things: (i) that every potential reviewer requires a different
approach and (ii) that people will be willing, if not eager, to make
time for your priorities if you're seen as a friend or colleague
rather than just another annoyance that stops them from doing their
own work.

Also, learn to have a little sympathy for them: If your life is
chaotic, imagine how much more chaotic their lives are! We
techwhirlers love to bitch and moan about how hard our lives are, but
we're rarely the only victims in any workplace. Often, we don't even
rank in the top five categories of victimhood and oppression. I've
spent enough hours listening to tales of woe from people in many job
categories that I know this as fact.

The topic has been discussed many times in techwr-l, so try searching
the archives using the keywords "review" or "reviewer". Also visit my
site ( and use those keywords in the Google search
box, or (better still) have a quick skim through my bibliography
( for these and
related keywords. You'll find half a dozen or more articles on the
topic, all based on my 20 years of experience coaxing reviewers into
giving good reviews. It's not just theory: it's proven to work.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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SMEs/QA don't have time to review the documentation: From: SB

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