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Subject:Re: How do you .... From:Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 26 May 1994 09:45:31 CDT
Many thanks to all who responded.
In general, I do everything that everyone recommended -- I go to meetings,
read all of the development e-mail lists, am good friends with developers,
go to lunch with them, talk with them, have an office near them, have
rubberband fights with them, everything. The informal communications
chanels are quite open, but don't seem to be giving me enough information,
especially when crunch time hits or I'm jumping from emergency to emergency.
What struck me as interesting is the information provided by John Brinegar:
> A writer to engineer ratio of 30:2 (15:1) is too high to result in
> quality documentation. We have surveyed enterprises that produce
> documentation ranging from superior to ordinary. We find that the
> superior enterprises have ratios like 2:1 and in a few cases 1:1.
> Ordinary enterprises tend to have ratios in a range from 7:1 to 4:1.
> Ratios higher than 10:1 tend to produce mediocre to simply awful
I would certainly classify our documentation as awful in some respects.
It takes too long to do it. It doesn't accurately reflect the product.
Most manuals are incomplete in at least one major area, or several smaller
areas. But, people (customers, marketing and sales people, developers)
think they look great, and work very well.
I would be interested in seeing how "awful" documentation is classified.
I don't think I can address the developer/writer ratio, but maybe if I
address the problems caused by the situation, documentation may improve.
glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707
Houston, TX 77084