Re: Process for Requesting Writing Services?

Subject: Re: Process for Requesting Writing Services?
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Carol Anne Wall <carol_anne_t_wall -at- msn -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 09:49:20 -0400

[Carol Anne Wall asked about organization of a documentation effort.]

The processes you describe seems to me to be inverted. Rather than
looking at your assignment of tasks, you should probably look at the
results to be accomplished. These are determined by the needs of your
customers and your company.

I suspect that you should put extra effort into trying to avoid any
model in which "requests" fly in through the transom to be "acted upon"
by your small team. A quite different focus is appropriate.

Each document should have a purpose, a defined audience, and a plan for
its creation, completion, assessment and updating or replacement. If you
cannot devise a plan for a document, or if the plan looks silly (e.g.,
"This document will fill a much-needed gap on our shelves,") then
perhaps effort should go into some other document instead.

A good doc plan is the result of a brief but intense team effort,
involving those who have (or have identified) the need and those who do
the writing. Initially, do not allow any document, no matter how
trivial, to escape the planning process. You might relax this
requirement later.

Do not concern yourself with territoriality or with wasted effort. A
good set of documentation plans can keep everything in good order. When
you find difficulties, reinspect and revise the plans.

There is no reason why you cannot leap almost immediately to the highest
levels of documentation if you know your goals. If you don't, you'll
trip on your own feet.

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

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Process for Requesting Writing Services?: From: Carol Anne Wall

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