Re: Validation

Subject: Re: Validation
From: Karen Kay <karenkay -at- CADENCE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 16:52:33 -0800

Jane Bergen asked:
>>Does anyone else have some ideas how
>>to solve the problem of getting someone to proofread drafts?
>I've proposed to my manager a new system for checking documents, linked to
>our ISO 9000 certification. It's being seen as a radical idea (little do they
>know...), and it has its pros and cons. The -biggest- con is that its
>going to require extra staffing.

>It's called "Validation." (Some of you already know what follows.)

My company does this. I'd never heard of it before, but it is
wonderful, and really improves the documentation. We do also have
engineering reviews, btw, as well as editing (by an editor), and

>Crazy as it sounds, the ideal Validator is a technical communicator,
>not an engineer.

I think this depends largely on the product. Our audience is engineers
and I believe that our validators are trained as engineers. (They
validate both software and hardware.) They certainly catch subtle
technical stuff that the writers don't always. The other thing is that
our validators are non-native speakers of English. This is by chance,
I assume, but I see it as a real boon. They catch turns of phrase and
syntax that may be confusing to non-native speakers.

Now that I have this, I'd hate to do without it!

karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

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