RE: How many product releases do you support in a given year?

Subject: RE: How many product releases do you support in a given year?
From: "Alan Salo (Ariens Plant 1)" <asalo -at- ariens -dot- com>
To: "Julie Stickler" <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Technical Writing" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:47:49 -0500

I know, it sounds crazy, but, we're all about lean production (we're a
fairly high volume manufacturer). We support the document needs for
hundreds of SKUs and each needs new documentation or an update two or
three times a year due to product changes. Plus we translate to 19
different languages for some products. A large portion of our output is
updating existing docs so we are not starting over on every title on the
writing side. The effort required on parts catalogs depend on the level
of change to the machine.

It's not unusual for each us to have ten or more documents open in any
stage of the writing/waiting/review process. When one hits a stopping
point you move on to the next. I'm typically balancing deadlines for 70
or so open project on any day. Oh, and we create all of our own graphics
as well using SolidWorks Composer and if required, photos.

As you can imagine, downtime is non-existent but the days fly by. And I
love it.

Alan


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+asalo=ariens -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+asalo=ariens -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Julie Stickler
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:39 AM
To: Technical Writing
Subject: Re: How many product releases do you support in a given year?

Your writers release a title a day?!?!

I cannot even comprehend how a company could need a new product manual
on a daily basis. Does every customer get their own customized
documentation and you never reuse anything?


On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 9:41 AM, Alan Salo (Ariens Plant 1) <
asalo -at- ariens -dot- com> wrote:

> The small team that I manage consisting of two technical writers and
> two illustrators released an average of just under 600 titles per year

> over the past five years. This includes domestic and international
> owner's manuals, parts catalogs, kit instruction sheets, safety decals

> and field service bulletins. Needless to say we are all about
> production. As my main mission is management, my writing time is at
> maximum 10% on a good week so the team carries the load. I
> occasionally have to utilize a freelance writer when production dates
make it necessary.
>
> Cheers,
> Alan
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+asalo=ariens -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+asalo=ariens -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> Behalf Of Julie Stickler
> Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:56 PM
> To: Technical Writing
> Subject: How many product releases do you support in a given year?
>
> So, I'm writing up notes for my annual evaluation and it occurs to me
> that in the past year I've supported an almost ridiculous number of
> product releases.
>
> Back when I was doing waterfall software development, I might have a
> product release once a quarter, with only one really being a major
> feature release and the rest being smaller releases that were
> generally patches/bug fixes.
>
> Now that I'm doing Agile (and supporting multiple products) it seems
> like every time I turn around I have another release deadline.
>
> So my question for you folks today is, how many product releases a
> year are you expected to provide documentation for?
>
>
>
> --
> Julie Stickler
> http://heratech.wordpress.com/
> Blogging about Agile and technical writing
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--
Julie Stickler
http://heratech.wordpress.com/
Blogging about Agile and technical writing
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp
enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/NNcWqS

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as asalo -at- ariens -dot- com -dot-

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info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/NNcWqS

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


References:
How many product releases do you support in a given year?: From: Julie Stickler
RE: How many product releases do you support in a given year?: From: Alan Salo (Ariens Plant 1)
Re: How many product releases do you support in a given year?: From: Julie Stickler

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