Re: Devr. wants to take over doc.--some history

Subject: Re: Devr. wants to take over doc.--some history
From: Stephanie Holland <SLHOLLAND -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 11:25:20 -0600

I'm not including a snip of John's letter because he asked us to delete
his message after reading it.

John --

I couldn't tell from your co-workers' letters whether you have an
intranet, or whether they're suggesting the company gets one. If you get
an intranet, putting documents online might be a solution for you, but
you'd still need to figure out who's in charge of them.

The writer of Letter No. 1 mentioned this as an alternative to hard
>copy: "An Electronic document that is available and updatable to
all."

If this person means that electronic documents would be great because
everyone would be able to update them, I'd squash that idea. You can't
ensure quality documentation if everyone is allowed to make updates
whenever they want. However, if *you* are the person who controls the
documents, an intranet would allow you to make quick updates. Where I
work, my group owns all the documents we write, whether they're in hard
copy, online help, or HTML. Writers in my group are the only people who
have permission to make any changes to the files.

It almost sounds as if your co-workers are focusing too much on what
*they* want instead of what their *customers* want and need. If
hard-copy documents are really what customers want, I can understand
your wanting to ensure an attractive cover and proper binding. Is there
a reason your co-workers are so concerned about getting updates in a
day? Could better planning and organization allow them to let you know a
week or two in advance that they'll need an update?

>The writer of Letter No. 1 also asked this question: "What do I do If
>John is not available (busy with other projects or
priorities) to upgrade the document before I release the software?"

If this is a problem, it sounds as though your company needs to hire
another writer to help you. I think that would be a better solution than
letting various people (especially if they're not writers) write and
update documents at will.

Hope this helps in some way ...

Stephanie Holland
Micron Electronics
>slholland -at- micron -dot- com

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