Bug tracking and documentation

Subject: Bug tracking and documentation
From: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Technical Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 11:47:40 -0400

I’m a software technical writer, and every software company I’ve
worked for has had some sort of issue/bug tracking system in place.
And they’ve all used the same issue tracking system that they use for
software bugs to log documentation issues. Today I'm trying to write
up how I’d like the process to work at my current job.

The system works well when the issues logged are things that are
clearly “right” or “wrong” like incorrect procedures, incorrect code
examples, missing steps or procedures, etc.

Where the system breaks down is when someone enters issues like “Guide
X needs to be completely rewritten.” Or someone enters pages of
documentation reviews/comments as an “issue.” Because our process
requires QA to close issues, and our QA team really has no idea how to
judge if this type of issue is “fixed.” I end up force closing a lot
of these, or listing them as “not a bug.”

So, I’d like to ask the group to share your collective wisdom. Does
your company use an issue/bug tracking system? Do you use it to track
documentation issues? Does your system work well, or not, and why?

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