How is your pubs dept set up?

Subject: How is your pubs dept set up?
From: Kendall Robinson <kendallr -at- SMTPLINK1 -dot- CHEY -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 1994 13:34:55 EST

Text item: Text_1


I work for small to medium sized software company that has
experienced real hyper-growth over the past 4 years. With this
growth has come a lot of frustration and growing pains. Also, as
is the nature of the software industry, my company virtually
demands long hours, weekends, firstborn, and so on. Wait a
second, I swore I wouldn't start complaining! Sorry. Let me get
the real point of this post.

I've always had a hard time convincing management that it is
necessary to have on-line help people developing the help and
technical writers developing the printed manuals. Management
feels the technical writers ought to first do the printed docs,
then do the on-line help. I say this is a bad idea (not a good
argument, I know).

Some of the reasons I've come up with for why help should be
developed by dedicated resources are:

Most writers are already so over extended, and most "schedules"
are already so tight, that the quality of docs, help, or both,
are going to suffer.

On-line help is often reviewed as part separately from the
software and the docs, which says to me it is important.

Other companies (or so I've heard) often have more people doing
help than the printed stuff.

Which brings me to my is the pubs department set
up in your company? Do you have separate resources doing the
on-line help? Do you feel it's possible, or a good idea, for
writers to write manuals and develop complex hyper help systems
at the same time?

I'd appreciate any and all feedback.

kendalr -at- chey -dot- com

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