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

Subject: RE: SMEs/QA don't have time to review the documentation
From: "Victoria Wroblewski" <victoria -dot- wroblewski -at- eagletest -dot- com>
To: "SB" <sylvia -dot- braunstein -at- gmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 14:34:55 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: SB
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 7:24 AM
Subject: SMEs/QA don't have time to review the documentation

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

In addition to all the great comments on getting upper management behind
you (which you need), you also need to convince upper management and
everyone below that it's part of everyone's job to review the materials
and *hopefully* catch all the mistakes, but to be aware that there will
occasionally be ones that slip through.

When I've worked in places where reviewers won't review, there is
usually a very large fear that if you're the one responsible for the
review of a doc, you're on the line if something comes up wrong. Some
people think it's safer to just claim they don't have time to review at
all so how could they have caught anything, rather than reviewing and
hopefully catching at least the major errors. Mistakes happen, no one
person or system is perfect. But when everyone is working with
confidence that others are doing what they should be with reviews, the
mistakes tend to be smaller and nothing that impacts revenue.

I've also noticed SME's tend to loosen up when you explain that you are
looking for review on the technical accuracy ONLY. For some reason
(maybe previous bad tech writers) they think they have to review it's
their own college term paper. You need to convince them that it's your
job to make sure every comma is where it should be etc., and their job
to make sure you are not saying anything that is technically wrong or

- Victoria

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SMEs/QA don't have time to review the documentation: From: SB

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