Re: Developments in the review cycle

Subject: Re: Developments in the review cycle
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2016 10:52:24 -0500

Mark, your process is nice but I don't think it's a good fit for equipment,
especially any type that could dangerous.

Kathleen

On Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 10:30 AM, <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com> wrote:

> I have not only seen it, I have been actively encouraging it for many
> years.
>
>
> But I think we first have to address the idea of "entire publication". In
> the paper world, an "entire publication" was a collection of paper pages
> bound together with glue. The publication process was massively physical
> manufacturing process with complex logistics, and so the "content" part of
> the process was really oriented around achieving a finished state at the
> moment that the work went to press.
>
> In online publication, whether that is a true hypertext or a books-on-glass
> style PDF, there is no such physical manufacturing process and so no need
> for a publication-wide definition or achievement of a finished state. We
> still organize our processes around that concept, in many cases, but the
> essential economic imperative for it has gone.
>
> It a true topic-based information set (as opposed to a lego-block approach
> to assembling larger documents) the topic is the unit of publication. It is
> part of a much larger information set, but there is no reason for that
> entire information set to ever reach a global finished state at a given
> moment. New information is always turning up, and we are always discovering
> new information about customers and their tasks that drive changes to
> information and information design. An information set should be a living
> thing.
>
> In this environment, the topic is the only logical unit of publication and
> the only one that can be meaningfully reviewed. However, that topic also
> lives in an information set, and a reviewer may well need to see it
> embedded
> in that information set to make sure it is fulfilling its proper role. (For
> instance, do we need an example inline here, or is there a link to an
> example?) Review should not take place in isolation, but individually in
> context.
>
> The model I encourage is to set up a work in progress server which
> publishes
> the current state of the entire doc set internally on a daily basis. When a
> topic is finished, you ask the reviewers to view it on the WIP server, so
> that they see it in full context.
>
> This requires much more than a change in review policy. It is a review
> policy that is the logical outcome of a change in information design.
>
> You have to review content in coherent units. A building-block topic is
> usually not a coherent unit. An Every Page is Page One topic is a coherent
> unit. Review policy follows information design.
>
> Given that you make the changes in information design, however, review now
> becomes much easier and more accurate. Review happens closer to the time
> that the developer worked on the feature, and it happens in units and at
> times that are less disruptive to their schedule. It is easier to see
> problems in a smaller unit, particularly if it follows a well-defined
> subject-specific topic type.
>
> Mark
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
> Of Erika Yanovich
> Sent: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 1:08 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Developments in the review cycle
>
> In the "good old days", tech writers followed the Outline-First
> draft-Second-draft-Camera ready model. We would submit an entire
> publication
> for review (perhaps with some minor TBDs inside) and the world was a
> simpler
> place.
>
> What I see nowadays is more dynamic: partial drafts (or bunch of topics)
> sent to different reviewers at different times. The stages are blurred and
> the follow-up more complicated.
>
> I know some of you don't believe in complete publications anymore, just in
> separate topics that get compiled daily (or whenever) into a larger entity,
> but publications are still alive and kicking out there.
>
> So my questions are:
> 1. Do you also see this transformation?
> 2. If yes, how do you cope with it?
> 3. Should we manage each chunk separately according to the old model
> (sounds
> a bit crazy) or replace the old model with a new one?
>
> Erika
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--
Kathleen MacDowell
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Developments in the review cycle: From: Erika Yanovich
RE: Developments in the review cycle: From: mbaker

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