Re: Managing Help Files

Subject: Re: Managing Help Files
From: Gayle Stroup <Berklane -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 16:23:21 -0400

Susan Brown wrote:

>There have been two basic problems in the production schedule:
>first, I was given roughly one tenth of the time the project actually would
>require (given its scope), and secondly, my project leader keeps changing my
>priorities (one week it is to get a small section of it stable so it can be
>passed over to another team member for translation into French, the next
>week it is have an interim version we can release to the user population by
>the end of the week, and so on)....

Been there, done that. :-) or :-(

Three words -- document, document, document.

I found that it helped me to create a flow chart that included the various
pieces of the system, so that I could make notes about my progress on each
piece. This made it easy to see how each piece related to the others, and if
I had to make changes to one piece, I could easily see where I needed to
change the related pieces.

You may also want to keep a log of your daily progress including every task
you are asked to do and every change you are asked to make. Don't just
record the negative aspects of the project. Try to find some positive
aspects -- things that worked well -- input that helped you. This can serve
two purposes:

1) It will help you organize your progress in your mind and will force
you to see that you are, in fact, making some.

2) In the end, when this mis-managed project is evaluated (assuming that
it will be), you and your help system shouldn't have to take the fall. Your
records may protect you, and they might help the "team" to work together more
efficiently next time.

I was fortunate. My job was a contract. I could fire the client.

Good luck.

Gayle Stroup

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