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You make many good points but you need to make it clear that what you do can
make their lives easier!
I have found it very effective to point out that good documentation can
circumvent problem reports and save programmer time and energy trying to deal
with user confusion.
You might also point out that if they have seen Air Force One they would know
that documentation saved the leader of the free world! (Remember he has to read
the manual to use the cell phone form the cargo bay.)
Ursa Minor Svcs "When you can no longer bear your documents."
ksmp -at- cyberramp -dot- net
Warren Singer wrote:
> After working for a few months at my new company I've noticed a general
> lack of awareness on the part of engineers as to the role and importance of
> documentation. This lack of awareness is expressed in sketchy SRS's that
> lack information, last-minute rush jobs to complete documentation tasks,
> failure to read existing documentation or devote the time necessary to
> provide feedback and lack of awareness of how to provide feedback. In
> light of this I decided it would be of benifit both to me and the company
> to "educate" R&D and program managers by providing a forum for discussing
> documentation issues.
> I'm am organizing a documentation seminar that will be presented to R&D
> and program managers. The main objective of the seminar is to raise
> awareness of the importance of documentation in the development cycle and
> the role of the documentation/technical writing department in this process.
> I thought of approaching this seminar by focusing on 2-3 relvant topics
> that would be of interest to R&D and would also help advance the cause of
> documentation. The one's I have in mind are:
> - The documentation cycle - the purpose of this is to raise awareness of
> the importance of documentation in all stages of the product design.
> - The Review Process - this concerns how review is provided to writers,
> i.e how to provide feedback.
> - Mapping the communication network - looking at how decision making and
> product information is communicated through the various departments and
> sub-departments. The goal of this is to situate the documentation
> department within this decision-making tree and look at ways of
> streamlining the communication process and storage of information.
> Does anyone have ideas or suggestions about what to include in the seminar?
> I'm really interested in getting as much feedback as possible on this topic
> and any suggestions will be appreciated.
> Warren Singer
> Design and Documentation Department
> VocalTec Communications Ltd.
> Tel.: +972-9-9707765 (direct)
> Fax: +972-9-9561867
> Email: warren -at- vocaltec -dot- com
> Visit us at CeBIT 98'