Re: Purpose of document review process?

Subject: Re: Purpose of document review process?
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 17:19:15 -0400

I went to educate. I took a copy of the short cover
letter I always send out (please review technical
content, not grammar, and so on). I explained that:
-- While comments are always appreciated, what I really
needed was for him to check the technical accuracy of
the docs.
-- Checking for grammar, spelling, etc., isn't
a good use of his time because we have editors that
do that once the book has been tech reviewed and revised.
-- If he had suggestions about the style of the docs,
he was welcome to make suggestions, but that sending an
email would be more effective and less time-consuming than
rewriting each sentence.

Other things that work:
-Asking the developer to justify their remarks (don't
be challenging about it -- won't be productive to get
them defensive) Ernie Tamminga just posted a great example.
-Using humor (helps me develop good partnerships with
my developers)
-Pointing out what's in it for them if they do it the
way you want them to ;)

There's no one-size-fits-all formula. Taking a minute
to understand where folks are coming from (i.e. confused
vs. frustrated vs. well-intentioned vs. obstinate ;) makes
dealing with them easier.

Now, let me add "Amateur Psychologist" to my job title...

Alexia Prendergast
Senior Technical Writer
Seagate Software
alexiap -at- sems -dot- com

>From: Mary Shaw[SMTP:MSHAW -at- MONEYNET -dot- COM]
>Sent: Monday, May 12, 1997 4:36 PM
>Subject: Re: Purpose of document review process?
>Alexia Prendergast wrote:
>>> That reminds me of the time I had a developer give me NO technical
>comments, but he did take the time to rewrite every darn sentence in
>the passive voice! Hoo-whee, was I cranky ;) <<
>So what happened? How did you react? How did said developer take
>your reactions?
>I'm always interested in hearing how others deal with developers.

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