TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Dev. Cycle and the Manual From:Elna Tymes <etymes -at- LTS -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 4 May 1999 09:04:06 -0700
Lief Erickson wrote:
> Is it possible to have a user's manual near completion at the end of the
> requirements phase of development?
It's *possible*, depending on how willing the developers are to (a) design the
interface first, (b) stick to the functional requirements, and (c) not make
changes to the interface or requirements along the way. Most programmers
aren't willing to do all three, let alone even one.
I've seen groups attempt to do so, but invariably the docs need to hold in
place after about the second draft, awaiting the inevitable changes that happen
toward the end of the development cycle. The docs need to describe what the
software/hardware actually does, and a final revision cycle usually helps
assure that they do.
So tell your boss that it is possible, although it depends on the agreement of