Re: Order Amongst Chaos (venting)

Subject: Re: Order Amongst Chaos (venting)
From: Lydia Wong <lydiaw -at- FPOINT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 10:15:52 -0400

Kathryn Marshall writes:

I was just asked to write a manual today for a project that's been in
development for the past 2 months. When do they need it? Oh, in less
than a month. So of course, I said SURE NO PROBLEM.

I know we all have to go along sometimes to accomplish the goal of providing
any documentation, but I have to think that if you say "Sure, no problem."
when there is a BIG problem, you've missed a valuable opportunity to educate
team members about what is necessary to create documentation.

Next time, I'd consider saying something like: "We'll see what we can do,
but by leaving us out of the development of the product and forcing us to
create a document in such a short time frame, we're forced to sacrifice
quality and content, and quite possibly accuracy."

I understand the inclination to say you can work miracles, but that gives
people the expectation that documentation *is* that easy, especially if you
don't make it clear to them what kind of miracle they're expecting.

My advice is to try not to make a martyr of yourself. This isn't personal:
you're talking about the quality of the product, of which the documentation
is a part.

Lydia Wong
Technical Writer
FarPoint Technologies, Inc.

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