"Entrance criteria" for starting documentation (kind of long)

Subject: "Entrance criteria" for starting documentation (kind of long)
From: Pamela Nelson <likes2read74 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 22:31:01 -0500


Hello all,

The company I am contracting for is defining the life cycle of its entire release process for the company's intranet. In other words, scoping and gathering requirements, developing the software, QA/UAT testing, and producing documentation for the intranet. The project manager says that the entrance criteria for the QA tester to begin writing test scripts is the approved requirements. The approvals would be made by the team's business analyst, project manager, developers, the QA tester, and maybe others TBD.

As the technical writer on the project, I am thinking that my entrance criteria for beginning documentation is the approved QA scripts. The scripts will be approved by the developers and the business analyst. (Because we are a small team, I am also the person responsible for gathering the requirements, ensuring that they are complete, and then getting sign-off from the necessary parties, so obviously I would be exposed to the expected functionality changes early in each release.)

More background: The intranet is state of the art, replacing the one that was ten years old. The pilot version was launched last November and has been in full production company wide since the late spring, having had numerous releases with a less-than-structured method of performing the necessary tasks. We now want to move to a structured environment with sign-offs and gates in order to avoid the risk of a release that did not receive proper scrutiny. I get to review the scripts before they are approved, but am not an approver myself. There is only one QA tester. And we are only talking about functional releases here - any maintenance releases are in addition to this and would typically only have bug fixes (so no requirements to have to wrestle with, at least in theory).

So, does it make sense to expect the QA scripts to be signed off before I would begin documenting the changes? Needless to say, when one functional release is in testing, I will be preparing/getting sign-offs for the requirements for the next functional release.

I receive messages here in digest form and would appreciate a cc to my email: likes2read74 -at- hotmail -dot- com

Any opinions/thoughts are appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Pamela Nelson






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