RE: API - Suggestions on Document
I'm about to need something very similar, for similar reasons.
I just spent a few days hurting my head rather badly, explaining
some of our product concepts in a mostly pictorial way, since
the many words I'd generated over the years have become... too many. :-)
Each time a customer (or pre-Sales Engineer) would come up with
an awkward question or - worse - would predicate a big purchase
on the ability to use a product in a specific and obscure way,
I would write a new page or add a section to an existing one
(either explaining how they could do it, or explaining why it
was not possible).
Perhaps I've misunderstood the situation, but this sounds an awful
lot like a problem only a human being can address. There's a
practically infinite number of requests a customer can make,
and only a human being can suggest alternate workflows and really
understand the need behind a requirement.
Documents can only do so much. In a previous position, I tried to
maintain a pre-sales document that fully described our labour
exchange webapp's capabilities - including functionality, types
of transactions, and the real-life business models that could and
couldn't be mapped onto it. But it failed. None of the salesforce
understood its value, or particularly cared about the consequences
of promising features that yet didn't exist, as it was only the
developers / QAs who'd work 60-hour weeks to pick up the pieces.
What we needed was a business analyst, and management to make them
an mandatory part of the sales process, so they could negotiate
with the client and replace salespeople in technical conversations.
Unfortunately, we were too cheap / short-sighted / disorganized
to hire one, and I hear that even today they spend every project
leading from one near-catastrophe to the next.
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