Re: Using jira for documentation development workflows

Subject: Re: Using jira for documentation development workflows
From: Helen OBoyle <hoboyle -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Shawn C <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2014 09:40:55 +1000

Hi,

We use JIRA Structures to define groups of related issues (tech, doc,
marketing, etc.) which include at least one documentation issue, for
documentation issues that are synchronous with development projects (new
features, bug fixes, module refactoring). We also have other documentation
issues that aren't part of a structure, because they're not related to a
current development project, which are things like doc bug fixes, misc
content edits, pre-JIRA backlog tasks, etc.

We use a custom workflow for DOC- tasks, with DOC-related statuses like
Peer Review, Reviewed (Peer), Editing (Peer), SME Review, Reviewed (SME)
and Editing (SME), that allows us to track items through the peer review,
revise as needed and then send for SME review workflow that we use.

We use labels to "tag" issues into related groups and then manage the
resulting collection of issues with dashboards containing queries of these
and other fields such as project, tech writer, status, etc.

Unfortunately, I wasn't on the team when the workflow was designed, so they
left out a crucial pre-review status -- that of "Awaiting action by
non-doc-team member." My choices appear to be, to assign the task to
someone else and create a query that just pulls every task "open" with me
as tech writer that is not assigned to me, or to commit the sacrilege of
prefixing the issue title with "PEND", the name of the individual, a "why"
and the age of the request, and to toss them all in the "Drafted" queue I
rarely use to hold drafts (because as soon as I consider something "Draft"
I also consider it reviewable). So right now I have issues like "PEND
M.SLATER Q 27 JUN - Write description of parameter Frequency" in my Draft
queue. One reason I didn't choose the first option was that assigning
tasks to devs and PMs ended up being the equivalent of tossing them into a
black hole. THEIR dashboards specifically look at their current dev
projects, and not random items assigned to them by other people in the org,
so even if I sent them an email, the task would too quickly fall off their
radar and mine.


On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 6:04 AM, Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com> wrote:

> Kevin (et al),
>
> I noticed that you mentioned "Jira" and "documentation" in a single
> thought. Kind of a rarity, it seems.
>
> I changed the subject so that I am not hijacking the other thread. :)
>
> Being the sole tech writer in a hard-core Linux engineering team, Jira is
> pretty central to all the development work here. Unfortunately, the current
> Jira configuration doesn't really meet my documentation workflow
> requirements. Additionally, I have found very little about this subject on
> the Web.
>
> Can you/anyone offer advice (or web URLs) on how best to use Jira for
> technical writing?
>
> Thank you,
> Shawn
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM, McLauchlan, Kevin <
> Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > Starting from a history of waterfall-ish development, and after more than
> > two years in-progress, we are in water-agile-fall(**), trying to get to
> > agile, and one outcome of that is that EVERY new thing I add to the docs
> is
> > supposed to be captured as some kind of Jira issue (story, bug, task...).
> >
> > So, I never used to ask permission, and now I still don't, directly, but
> > the indirect effect is that that's how it now works.
> > I have (as we say around here) a whack of issues in my backlog that
> aren't
> > assigned to any sprint, that aren't supposed to be implemented unless
> I've
> > got nothing to do. That doesn't happen, of course.
> >
> > In reality, they'll get snuck into a DOC sprint that we writers are
> > assigning to ourselves, packed among structural and other sanctioned
> > stories and issues. But I thought I'd check which way the winds blow for
> > the rest of y'all*. :-)
> >
> > (*I'm not southern - I just like to say "y'all" sometimes)
> > (**actually, some product teams, here, are frighteningly agile, while
> > others are still getting onboard - I'm in two that are at different
> places
> > along that spectrum; if I had rhythm, you could call what I do
> "dancing"...
> > but no )
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=
> safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=
> > safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Mike Starr
> > Sent: June-20-14 6:39 PM
> > To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > Subject: Re: What is not mandated is forbidden
> >
> > I never ask permission to put something into a document that can not only
> > help the user but help reduce support queries. If you ask permission,
> > you're just telling them to say no. Had you just put it in there chances
> > are good it wouldn't have been flagged as "out of spec".
> >
> > Best Regards,
> >
> > Mike
> > --
> > Mike Starr, Writer
> > Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - WordPress Websites
> > Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - Custom Microsoft Word templates
> > (262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - http://www.writestarr.com
> > President - Working Writers of Wisconsin http://www.workingwriters.org/
> >
> > On 6/19/2014 12:14 PM, McLauchlan, Kevin wrote:
> > > Does everyone subscribe to the notion that customer docs should contain
> > only what is necessary?
> >
>
> --
> *Shawn Connelly*
> Technical writer
>
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