Re: Writing a product functional spec AFTER the product is built

Subject: Re: Writing a product functional spec AFTER the product is built
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2010 08:17:46 -0400

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
> ...
> In cases where the product is highly "cutting edge," such as scientific
> instrumentation, you're very often walking a very fine line between giving
> customers the information they need to make a purchase decision and giving
> competitors the information they need to steal your design.

Additionally, there is usually a very, very short time window during
which the information is useful. More than maybe six months and the
competition (or your own company) has a newer, better version going out
the door.

I'm thinking that the company would be well served by a plan to develop
two separate documents. One is the product specification that you're
being asked to create. The other is the design spec for the next version
of the product. It shouldn't take you more than two or three days to put
together a separate docplan for each of those two documents, and then
another three days to get both plans reviewed. Generally a documentation
project that has a good documentation plan has greater likelyhood of
success than one that does not. If someone tells you that there is "no
time" to do a docplan, then THAT is his plan, and it's something you'll
have to work around.

Having the two distinct docplans will enable you and your experts to
distinguish the goals and non-goals of each.
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References:
Writing a product functional spec AFTER the product is built: From: Tara English-Sweeney
Re: Writing a product functional spec AFTER the product is built: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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