Presentation to engineers, take II

Subject: Presentation to engineers, take II
From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 11:02:04 -0400

Virginia Link quite properly pointed out that I <<...forgot the
tech-writer role: This exercise doesn't have the engineers
documenting the process. At least one of the participants
should have to have the doc ready when the product is

Sorry, I wasn't clear about what I was aiming for with the
Lego exercise: it's not to get the engineers to produce
documentation, but to show them what it's like to work with
constantly evolving specs, unavailable resources, and last-
minute changes. (I really like the paper airplane exercise;
that's easier to do and more fun. I particularly like the fact
you can build a target and get them to try to hit the target...
while you're moving the target. Cool metaphor, plus should
be an awful lot more fun than the Lego exercise.)

It shouldn't be too great a leap of logic for them to understand
as a result of the exercise that they face many of the same
constraints that we techwhirlers face, and that if they don't
like working this way, then neither do we. With luck, you'll
end up building some empathy for our role and you may be
able to work together better in future as allies ("companions
against adversity") rather than just getting angry at each other.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"If you can't explain it to an 8-year-old, you don't understand it"--Albert Einstein

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