review process

Subject: review process
From: Miki Magyar <MDM0857 -at- MCDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 12:00:49 -0600

Huntley asked about implementing a document review process for
manuals. Huntely, you said "We need to implement..." Who's 'we'? If it's
generally agreed from the top down that this is a necessary process,
there should be little hassle. If _you_ and you alone recognize the need,
then it's a longer battle, and may be a brick wall. Assuming that at least
some of the people involved are not actively hostile, try this -

When you hand out a document to someone to review, attach a cover
sheet that lists the document, project, who is reviewing it, when the
review is due, and a specific checklist of those items that reviewer
should pay attention to. For example, graphics content, or command
syntax, or whatever their expertise is. You can also label it as a level 1,
2, or 3 edit review, and then explain that that means that whatever is
reviewed this time won't have to be done again.

If you can give your reviewers discrete chunks as they are done, rather
than large lumps at the end, you'll get a better response (my experience).

The trick is to assume that this is the normal way of doing reviews, and
be persistent on following up. If you put a note on the cover sheet saying
that reviews that don't come back on time are assumed to be approved
as is, and then stick to that, they learn real quick. And it's okay to hassle
gently, with e-mail reminders or little notes, that the due date is coming
up. Do this especially when you start the process - it takes time to get
used to a new way of doing things.

Oh yes... I printed the cover sheet on the ugliest pink paper I could find,
so it wouldn't get lost on cluttered desks. It worked! They always knew
where it was.

mikim -at- mcdata -dot- com

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