Re: Grammar and rhetoric, is that all there is to it?

Subject: Re: Grammar and rhetoric, is that all there is to it?
From: Sally Marquigny <SALLYM -at- MSMAILHQ -dot- NETIMAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 11:30:00 PDT

Chuck Banks writes:

I think the training and documentation should be, as now,
separate, but related. If Gloria Grey's Performance Support Systems
become reality, both training and documentation will be delivered
online at user request, interactively.

SGML and document management systems can make product
documentation more available for training development use and training
developed information more available for document development.

The difference in objectives for documentation and training
prevent modular reuse of related text modules without some wordsmithing.
I just don't see us successfully reusing each others text verbatim.

The same people might be, and, in some cases I've seen, have
been, tasked to develop and even deliver both training and documentation.
But, these cases are exceptions, not rules. Documentation often leads
training development on the Gantt chart, for efficiency sake. After all,
training needs to use the documentation in their training materials.

Training and documentation are symbiotes, usually, but who
develops them depends on time and budget constraints. Time often overrides
budget, calling for separate teams working at the same time.

Having straddled the fence between training and tech writing for years, I
have found that a good instructor does not necessarily write good training
manuals (technically or conceptually), and a good writer does not
necessarily teach well. Nor do the two usually _enjoy_ doing the other type
of work, which is an important factor.

And I've yet to work anywhere that combined or even overlapped the two
departments; generally documentation is written before training takes place
(in a perfect world, of course) so the trainers can teach themselves from
the documentation (ironically, trainers seldom get training) before writing
course materials & preparing the presentation. And frequently the
relationship between the two departments is strictly informal and instigated
by desperate trainers starved for information!

Sally Marquigny
sallym -at- msmailhq -dot- netimage -dot- com

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