TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
How do you define an application in the reference to "175 applications?" Are these software products, individual features and enhancements, or bug fixes?
>Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 10:24:14 -0400
>From: "Zuercher, Darrell" <dzuerche -at- tva -dot- gov>
>Subject: RE: Agile tech writing
>To: "Blount, Patricia A" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>,
> <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> <C30CEAB331E621438DDCE4662F9C856F05118F4F -at- TVACOCXVS2 -dot- main -dot- tva -dot- gov>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>I am a lone writer on an agile (Scrum) development team. We have been
>agile for about two years. There are a few things that can help you
>succeed in this environment, based on my experience. Your mileage may
>1. Make sure that your documentation is included in your Product Backlog
>Item estimates. Your Product Owner may not even consider an item "done"
>unless it is also documented.
>2. Each of the other tasks you perform (UI review, error message text
>editing, instruction changes, etc.) are also included in the estimates,
>and are itemized in the Sprint's deliverables.
>3. Attend the daily Scrum meetings, or whatever status-reporting
>conversations the team has, so that your tasks are visible to the rest
>of the team. This includes any obstacles that are related to team-member
>We typically have several simultaneous projects (We currently create and
>support over around 175 different applications.) underway, so I am also
>documenting multiple applications simultaneously. I have had the most
>success when I am a vocal member of an application's team, submitting
>suggestions to make application easier to use or more intuitive. I am
>quick to offer suggestions for UI element placement, menu design, screen
>usage, etc. when the team is discussing implementation options. I have
>also acted as Scrum Master on several teams, including one which won a
>departmental award for best team last year (600-person department).
>Many view agile development as not requiring documentation. The truth
>is, the documentation is required but is much more dynamic. From design,
>through requirements, to the end user, there is documentation. Smaller
>deliverables, less formal, but essential. I like the phrase, "barely
>sufficient documentation". Write just enough so that the audience can
>accomplish its work. As someone (I can't remember the source at the
>moment) once said, "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.
>Concerning your delivery schedule, one option might be to delay delivery
>of the software by one Sprint, in order to complete the documentation.
>Feature 1 is developed in Sprint 1. Feature 2 is developed in Sprint 2,
>while Feature 1 is documented, and then released. Feature 3 is developed
>in Sprint 3, while Feature 2 is documented, and then released. Just a
>I hope this helps.
Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial: http://www.doctohelp.com
Explore CAREER options and paths related to Technical Writing,
learn to create SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS documents, and
get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at: http://www.ModernAnalyst.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-