content structure/strategy

Subject: content structure/strategy
From: <jopakent -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:17:18 -0800

I'm on a team that is changing our software release cycle. We've currently
producing TBA content in guides that are very UI focused, along with online
help that is completely focused on the UI. The issue in the past has been
that the dev teams we support make last minute changes to the UI and
TechComm misses it. Then we end up scrambling to make last minute revisions
before release.

With the new software release cycle, we're no longer tracking progress by
the same milestones used in previous releases. I.e. - there's no planning
complete dates, no code complete dates, no test complete dates, etc.
Instead, the expectation is that teams will develop in an iterative manner.
To adapt to this new approach to development, we've been asked to approach
documentation in a way that isn't too tightly coupled to the UI.

My "sky is falling" response is to envision trying to describe how to
perform new tasks while having to avoid referring to the controls you need
to use to complete those tasks.. To say the least, I'm not feeling very
optimistic. Before I report that in today's brainstorming session, it
occurred to me that I can't be the first one trying to deal with this
scenario. It seems like some kind of content structure/strategy solution is
going to be at least part of what we're going to need to change, and, well,
structure and strategy are not exactly my strong suits.



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