Re: The Snowball Technique (Stone Soup)

Subject: Re: The Snowball Technique (Stone Soup)
From: "McMARTIN, Robert" <rmcmarti -at- BAEA -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 10:57:06 +0930

I thought that's how all User Manuals were created. Start with
nothing and add a little by little, each SME adds a little to the pile.
Usually the manager has a high picture and each of the workers know
their small component add them all together and you've got a draft.
THen watch what happens the first time someone reads it. They find out
that how it works is completely different to what it was supposed to do
in the first place.

In the last installment, Betsy Shoolbred said a few things about
what Jim Chevalier wrote.

> [Betsy Shoolbred] Adding my step 4a, and this is my normal
> MO.
> ?:^)
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: JIMCHEVAL -at- AOL -dot- COM [SMTP:JIMCHEVAL -at- AOL -dot- COM]
> > Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 1998 3:32 PM
> > To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> > Subject: The Snowball Technique (Stone Soup)
> >
> > It just occured to me this morning that some of my fairly thick
> procedures
> > on
> > my current project have been created by a snowball effect. To whit:
> >
> > 1. Someone tells me 'we don't really have a procedure for that'.
> > 2. I ask them what information DOES exist.
> > 3. They give me a few lines of information.
> > 4. I type those up.
> [Betsy Shoolbred] 4a. Look at whatever screen graphics are
> available or maybe get an alpha version of the procedure installed.
> From
> what I can decipher, type up something that seems logical to me.
> > 5. I give the typed up version to someone else in the process. who
> says,
> > "Well, that's almost true - except that we also do the following."
> And
> > adds/corrects lines.
> > 6. I take it back to the first person who responds, usually by
> remembering
> > yet
> > something else.
> > 7. After several iterations of this sort, I find myself with
> something
> > like an
> > actual first draft. Maybe I even see spots where a diagram would
> help.
> > 8. A few drafts and diagrams later, WE HAVE A DOCUMENT!!!
> >
> > Lovers of folk tales will recognize a process much like that used by
> three
> > soldiers to make a rich stew from a stone in a town where there was
> > 'nothing
> > at all to add to the pot'. A useful metaphor in many a situation.
> >
> > As it happens, though, the first image that came to mind today was
> that of
> > a
> > snowball, growing larger as it rolls down hill.
> >
> > Either way, it's a useful technique, especially in these ad hoc,
> > high-growth
> > situations.
> >
> > Jim Chevallier
> > North Hollywood
> >
>

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=




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