Software documentation on the critical path

Subject: Software documentation on the critical path
From: Pierre Roberge <proberge -at- famictech -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 11:12:48 -0400

Hi everybody

I am a technical writer working for a software company. I write the user
guides and compile the help files. I just came out of a metting where I
have been told that I am on the critical path for our release date of Dec.
5th, 1999. This is no news to me, how can I document something that is not
finished? I will complete my docs and helps at the same time the software
comes out of QA. Can I do better than that?

I started writing my guides based on the specification documents, which
lacked a lot of details. I used the alpha version developers release
internally every 2 weeks to update/modify my guides. I worked in parallel
with them during the coding phase and will work that way until they finish
coding. Is there another faster/better way to work? If the specs were
frozen I could have finished the documentation before the developers
finished coding but the specs are too vague and they change along the way.
I have no choice to use the actual product to really know what it does and
how it does it. Is it that hard to understand?

All answers are appreciated


Pierre Roberge
Famic Technologies 2000 (soon obsolete)

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