Re: Software documentation on the critical path

Subject: Re: Software documentation on the critical path
From: "Kathi Jan Knill" <Kathi -dot- Knill -at- template -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 13:18:24 -0400

Since you already started your guides, I will assume you've got some doc
plan that you are following, and that you just want to know how to get the
information into the appropriate parts of the manual at the same time as
the software goes to QA (so that QA can also QA your doc at the same
I suggest you find out which developers are doing what parts of the
software, i.e., what features or functionality they are developing. Then
compile a list of questions and meet with the appropriate developer.
If you are not already, get in the loop that first finds out what the new
specs (that have been approved) are and who is doing them. Again, talk to
the developers.
I am sure you will find that most developers are willing to help and can
explain what the software
does and how it does it.
Always set up the meetings ahead of time. Make it at a time that is
convenient for the developer, and DON'T BE LATE! Once you get to know the
developers and their personalities, you might be able to just drop in with
a quick question now and again. But for the bulk of the information that
you want up front, make sure you have a list of questions to start with.
I can't promise you results that have the doc going to QA with the
software, but it will certainly give you a running start, if you do some of
these things.
Good luck.

Kathi Knill
Sr. Technical Writer
Template Software, Inc.
Kathi -dot- Knill -at- Template -dot- com
Great things are only possible with outrageous requests.
~ Thea Alexander ~

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