RE: Nobody reviewed the manuals

Subject: RE: Nobody reviewed the manuals
From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 14:09:13 -0400

Ya gotta luv dead experts.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
> Of Marguerite Krupp
> Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 1:58 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com; Al Geist
> Subject: Re: Nobody reviewed the manuals
>
>
> According to news reports, the docs also relied on experts who'd been
> dead for some time!
>
>
>
> One software doc project I worked on had been patched a number of times
> over the years, with patches on the patches. When I went in and cleaned
> up what I could, my reviewers came back with a bunch of comments saying,
> this or that was wrong or didn't work that way. When I investigated,
> the issues were mostly in sections that I hadn't cleaned up, but that
> had been so obscured by the bigger issues that nobody noticed them.
>
>
>
> Marguerite
>
>
> --- On Thu, 6/10/10, Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> wrote:
>
> From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
> Subject: Nobody reviewed the manuals
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Date: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 12:58 PM
>
> I'm sure everyone by now has heard about the big oil spill going on in the
> Gulf or Mexico. Associate Press today announced that an analysis of BP's
> contingency plans show they were "riddled with omissions and glaring
> errors." It seems that the authors face what most of us in the field
> confront on a daily basis..everyone wants the manuals done by some
> impossible deadline, but nobody has anytime to review the material to see
> if
> it is relevant, accurate, or complete. If those documents are like some
> I've
> had to clean up, they are virtually useless because they were copied from
> previous documents, which were copies of older documents, which were
> copies... In management's eyes, this is good, economic use of resources.
> In
> the department heads eyes, it's a checkbox that is filled without having
> to
> take an engineer or programmer off some critical task. In the user's eyes,
> it means fumbling around to figure things out before the system crashes
> and
> management starts looking over your shoulder. Been fighting for better
> manuals for nearly 40 years and I will guarantee that there are more BP-
> type
> contingency plans out there. What management doesn't realize is that it
> cost
> a lot more to clean up the mess than it would to produce is relevant,
> accurate, and complete material in the first place. BP knows the
> consequences now..how many other companies (small or large) have had their
> eyes opened?
>
>
>
> Okay.I'm done. Now everyone get back to work...
>
>
>
>
>
> Al Geist
>
> Technical Communicator, Help, Web Design, Video, Photography
>
> Office/Msg: 802-872-9190
>
> Cell: 802-578-3964
>
> E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com
>
> Website: www.geistassociates.com
>
> See Also:
>
> Fine Art Photography
>
> Website: www.geistarts.com
>
>
>
> "...I walked to work, quit my job, and kept walking. Better to be a
> pilgrim
> without a destination, I figured, than to cross the wrong threshold each
> day." (Sy Safransky)
>
>
>
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References:
Nobody reviewed the manuals: From: Al Geist
Re: Nobody reviewed the manuals: From: Marguerite Krupp

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