Re: Keeping up w/ design

Subject: Re: Keeping up w/ design
From: Dan Glovier <Mailbox!tsh!dan -at- MCS -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 11:36:49 -0600

The Gods overheard Scott McDaniel state:
>Hello,

<snipped background info for brevity>

> The problem I'm wrestling with: the system is still in development,
>and features change as fast as I can keep up with them. It is not
>evolving toward a specific final form. How have you dealt with
>situations like this?

Scott,

Here's what we do when we face documenting "vaporware."

1) We try to avoid it.

2) That being impossible, the best we have come up with is taking a modular
approach to the production of the documentation. We get an overall explanation
of what
the product will do, how the different pieces fit together, and then we document
the most "stable" pieces first.

3) Honest communication. E-mail, e-mail, and more e-mail. Updates are given to
us
as soon as they happen. When they think they will be changing something, they
also
inform us of these upcoming vapor changes to avoid time-consuming changes.

4) Keep your superiors aware of these changes as they happen (if they are
significant).
That way, when the project is done and they are wondering why you haven't
documented the 20
last-second changes that they have made, your boss knows that you have been
keeping up
with these changes, and that it WILL be completed (and perfect!) shortly.

Keeping it in small bits, communicating with the developers, and keeping your
superiors aware of your progress are about the best you can do in this
situation.

If anyone else has any insights, please share!

Good luck,

--
Dan Glovier
dan -at- tsh -dot- com

"Yeah I got faith, but sometimes fear it just weighs too much."
- "Cold Feelings" Social Distortion


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