Re: the document development process

Subject: Re: the document development process
From: Charles Good <good -at- AUR -dot- ALCATEL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 20:55:55 GMT

There is a concept called concurrent engineering which embraces the
fully functional team scenario (i.e., no outside help required and
everyone collaborates and shares the workload so the project can
be completed in the shortest amount of time with the highest end

In such a scenario, a technical writer becomes part of the development
team and is physically moved into their area. The writer becomes the
key documentation person. Initially, the writer works with engineers
to produce engineering specs which are later transformed into customer
documentation. During some periods, the writer might be needed to help
solder cables, run lab tests, or do other non-writing technical tasks
which add to the writer's knowledge of the product.

This is the ultimate form of cross-training and maximizing critical
resources. However, it has had mixed results. In many cases, people
are unwilling to let go of traditional roles and do not want to perform
tasks outside of their perceived job description. Nonetheless, it has
been successful in high tech companies.

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