FWD: Document relevance problem

Subject: FWD: Document relevance problem
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 10:00:32 -0700

Forwarded anonymously on request--please respond _on_ list. Eric


Please help me. I am a frog and it occurs to me that water in which I'm
sitting isn't really all that confortable any more, and if I don't do
something about it, it will soon start to be hot.

Background: I work for a small documentation branch of a bigger company.
We're developing a great product that we believe the market will grow
into. As a result of our being in front of the market, money and bodies
aren't too plentiful.

Without getting into details, let's just say I made a deal with the
devil (although it didn't seem like it at the time). I 'm pretty good at
picking up technical details, so I let the technical reviews lapse,
because even when they worked mountains of overtime, the developers
didn't get to them. The idea was that we needed a 1.0 and that what I
did was good enough considering our constraints.

Okay, so 1.0 went out and we all agreed that technical reviews were very
important. Then other things came up... Now the documentation seems to
have slid on the priority list.

Ideally, I would march into the management meeting with all kinds of
dire predictions of doom and angry customers. Problem is, I'm not a
manager. My manager is not involved in the documentation, she has become
irrelevant to the product, and she doesn't have the moxie and the
knowledge to go in and say the right things.

I've got a nice reputation here now, because I worked a miracle with the
1.0 docs. (I hate working miracles; it means stuff is broken.) I have
the feeling that if I don't do something soon, the doc will become
irrelevant and so will I. On the plus side, I should be elevated to
management in a couple of months.

I know I have sinned. In the words of the emporer in _Return of the
Jedi_, I will pay for my lack of foresight. I'm interested in any ideas
you might have in reducing the cost. Please help.

http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/

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