TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Can't do without paper? From:Jim Grey <jwg -at- ACD4 -dot- ACD -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 7 Jan 1994 08:10:30 -0500
Mark Levinson first quoted and then reported:
>Lo and behold as the deadline approached, the manager decided that paper
>documentation looked pretty good after all. My department had to drop
>everything to ride to the rescue.
>** Over here we had the same experience for a different reason. Our managers
> returned from a visit to the USA and reported that the market will not
> pay thousands of dollars for a product that doesn't include complete
> documentation on paper. Are they right?
Heck, one of my company's customers just spent something like $2M on a
trunk testing application and got *no*, again, *no* documentation with it.
Why? Well, The Powers That Be decided my time would be better spent drawing
little pictures in the design document. They delivered the product the
week after Christmas. This week, I get to start documenting. Yay.
Ahem. Excuse my bad attitude this week.
My experience with Applied Computing Devices, Inc., a small vendor of
network management systems, is that when you're durn near the only game in
town, your customers grit their teeth and put up with what they get. When
we develop a brand new application for a customer, the company always winds
up sinking every resource into design and implementation -- meaning the
tech writer gets sucked into secretarial and graphics duties on the
requirements document ("Here, draw these diagrams, insert them on these
pages, and then print the document out, make five copies, and distribute.")
until the development rush is over. Then the company gets all sweaty under
the armpits because the docs aren't even started.
If we had really stiff, neck-'n-neck competition, this wouldn't be the case.
Microsoft wouldn't dream of packaging WinWord with a note: "Sorry, the docs
weren't ready when we packaged the software. We'll send 'em to you later."
-- everybody'd be off buying WordPerfect.
I guess all this is at best tangential to Mark's question. But what the
heck, I needed to get it off my chest anywho.
jwg -at- acd4 -dot- acd -dot- com
Terre Haute, IN -- The Silicon Cornfield
projects, I didn't have *all* the info about ASI readily available. So