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> 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.
I would out-arrogant QA by saying, "Look, you guys are supposed
to be in the scientific testing business. Let's see your scientific
plan for testing my documentation. If you don't have one, then
you're just like any other reviewer."
This is fair. Everyone outside QA will think it's fair. QA might
even think it's fair. Make sure that the appropriate managers
all get copies of the memo (at least up to the director level in
both organizations, but make sure they're just cc's above your
If QA actually tries to come up with a testing plan (unlikely),
insist that it be a good one, and that it front-load the testing
really early in the process. Lots of end-user testing is always
useful, especially when it's paid for by another department.
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139