Re: Professional Development Question

Subject: Re: Professional Development Question
From: Michael Lewis <lewism -at- BRANDLE -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 12:43:57 +1100

This is a large issue. You can begin with a list of "task categories"
that IBM came up with about 15 years ago (or longer). These were
(approximately) Evaluation, Planning, Installation, Resource Definition,
Operations, Customization, Application Programming, Diagnosis, and End
Use.

That's obviously a software-specific list. I've modified and extended it
to cover a wider range of products (including board games and domestic
appliances): Familiarisation ("What is this thing, anyway?"), Evaluation
(comparison with alternatives), Preparation (such as site preparation),
Introduction (to the product's operational environment), Modification
(customisation), Control and Management (such as security of access),
Application (putting it into use -- includes End Use), Troubleshooting,
Repair, Preventive Maintenance, and Performance Optimisation. Some of
those may not apply to any given product type, and Application can cover
a multitude of sins.

For whatever product you have in mind, you need to break these task
categories (I prefer to call them Activity Groups) into individual
Activities or steps. That's very dependent on product type. For example,
Preparation for a software product includes checking available system
resources and software prerequisites; for a domestic washing machine, it
includes checking that the floor is level, and ensuring that suitable
faucets and drainage are accessible.

Annette Schulz wrote:

> ... if anyone has ever performed a user-support spectrum
> analysis (determining all the information a user needs, ranging from
> pre-purchase to post-puchase senior user requirements), I'd be curious
> to hear what other techwrlers have discoverd. What resources did you
> use? What type of decision/analysis functions did you need to perform?
> That sort of thing...do I sound vague? Probably. But hopefully there's
> someone out there who knows what I'm refering to...

--
Michael Lewis
Brandle Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia
PO Box 1249, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012
Suite 8, The Watertower, 1 Marian St, Redfern 2016
http://www.brandle.com.au/~lewism
Tel +61-2-9310-2224 ... Fax +61-2-9310-5056




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