Re: note taking

Subject: Re: note taking
From: "Colleen Dancer (02) 333-1862" <DANCER -dot- COLLEEN -at- A2 -dot- ABC -dot- NET -dot- AU>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 09:49:14 +1000

M. Collier wrote:

The project managers have found it to be a good thing that tech writers
sit in on software analysis and design sessions--and take notes. While I
did graduate from high school and college, and did take notes much of the
time (when I wasn't sleeping), I am interested in hearing others'
insights into the note taking process.

<end with lots snipped>

I sit in on the software analysis and design but not as a techwriter but
as a full contributor over usability issues including screen design and
navigation. I often take notes BUT I only document important decisions
and any key controversies, I then attach any whiteboard printouts to
this. Now documenting this is useful for me, useful for the team but
because it is small it doesn't stop me contributing to the meeting. I
flatly refuse to document every bit of x said y etc. If I did that I
probably couldn't get up scribble on the whiteboard, disagree with the
team and all the other fun things that occur in meetings.

Seriously, I would suggest if they want full transcriptions then they
should get a secretary to do it, you're too expensive too waste. However
as you will probably need to note key decisions, problems, issues and any
screen decisions etc, there is no harm in the team using your notes :) I
will sometimes use a laptop to do this as it is quick. I would suggest
that you should be a contributing member of the team in the meeting not
the secretary :) Of course in my project I am the tech writer, usability
consultant, screen designer, usability designer, sometimes system tester
and even user spokesman, so I usually have plenty to contribute to these
meetings. It is important to speak up at these meetings because often key
decisions which affect the usability are made then and there.

Colleen Dancer
dancer -dot- colleen -at- a2 -dot- abc -dot- net -dot- au

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