Subject: Quality/validation
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 08:52:42 -0600

Here's number two in my series of anonymous postings. For
anyone who missed my original note: I'm willing to post
questions to the list from list members who feel that
anonymity is as important as the answers (e.g., because
their boss also reads the list).

Please reply to the list, not to me directly.

--Geoff @8^{)}

Greetings all-

We are trying to get a formalized proofing/editing/QA-ing
process off the ground for my group of technical and
marketing writers. I have sort-of/kind-of been put in place
as an editor, but my role to this point has not been very
clearly defined.

We just finished a major project, and it was pretty
gruesome at the end. We had some developers who took the
time to read our chapters (because they didn't have as many
bugs to fix) and other developers who claimed they couldn't
be bothered. We had a QA department that has been vested
with the godlike ability to proclaim anything as "fit" or
"unfit" for release, but the department's reviews have been
pretty meaningless for us: they spot typos and make
word-choice suggestions. When we get the reviewed pages
back, we are *supposed* to either (1) make the changes
("And anyone can do that," said my boss. "After all, how
hard can that be?") or (2) make copies of the proper
authority and present that and the marked up page to the QA
supervisor. (One of my writers actually had to copy the
dictionary page that included the correct plural version of
the word "status." Eeek!)

To get the right processes in place, I'd love to hear what
other organizations do, especially if you are working in a
development atmosphere that uses very frequent and rapid
iterations. (A lot of our problem is that we can never
catch up to the software ...!)

Thanks for any advice you can offer ....


Note to those with automatic quoting functions in their
mail: this message doesn't come from me, though you can
certainly attribute the anonymous posting to me if you
follow threads that way.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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