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

Subject: RE: Writing a product functional spec AFTER the product is built
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Heather Anderson <Heather -dot- Anderson -at- cubrc -dot- org>, Tara English-Sweeney <tens00 -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 09:56:31 -0400



Heather Anderson noted:

> I've worked on validation documents after the system was
> already completed and in use (and by that, I mean
> requirements documents, testing plans, etc.) and right now
> I'm working on a user guide for a system that's been
> completed for some time.

Wow. What a luxury!

I mostly create user docs for products that are anywhere
from pre-alpha to "just finished, gotta go out with the docs
today".

One of the dances is "this feature, right here - do I write
it up the way it's supposed to be at GA, or the way it's
working right now?"

The question is really: "Is it going to be fixed in time,
and work like it's supposed to work, or is this an item
that will be ... um... deferred, and I should describe it
more like it's current alpha implementation?"

What ends up happening in many cases is that the decision
is made to defer, then the beta customers complain and
the feature gets fixed, and I get to rewrite the day before
it goes to final QA. That's not so bad when it's just ONE
feature... :-)

Having to write docs for a product that had been completed
and stable and that I could test and tinker and see the
beast operating exactly as the customers would... wow.
Luxury indeed.

But that luxury isn't about to happen. We live in a market
where waiting to release a product for any amount of time
after it's finished would put us behind competitors. Or would
put us behind fast-advancing customer needs.

- Kevin

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Follow-Ups:

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: Heather Anderson

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