Re: Tech Writing Problems

Subject: Re: Tech Writing Problems
From: Mike Beyries <beyries -at- THELMA -dot- CSISDN -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 1995 12:11:09 -0800

Sue Heim's quick and heart-felt answer caused a twinge here.
To amplify a little on what she said:

>1. Writing for vapor ware (or products that do not yet exist).

>2. Writing for products in which the user interface has not yet
> been frozen ...

How about products that are not _defined_, wherein the review of
the documentation (even an outline) can deteriorate into a battle
that is really over what the product is/can be ?!

>3. Lack of formal specifications with which to begin writing.

>4. Informal development process whereby changes are implemented
> at the developer's whim, ...

How about products for which the (user) documentation becomes the
de facto specification -- and in which the sales/marketing people
want to promise the world, while the development folks staunchly
maintain that the less said, the better?

Ultimately, I think these situations can lead to frustration on
the part of everyone involved. As a writer and member of the
development team, I have sometimes felt that I was tacitly assigned
responsibilities such as those described above without the
opportunity/authority/go-ahead necessary to see them through.

Mike Beyries (beyries -at- csisdn -dot- com)
Technical Communications and Development Support
Information Resource Engineering, Inc. (IRE)
Mountain View, CA U.S.A. (415) 903-2589
This is *NOT* IRE's opinion

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