Re: Any ideas for a presentation on the documentation process?

Subject: Re: Any ideas for a presentation on the documentation process?
From: "Michelle Wolfe" <WOLFEM -at- bcbsil -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 11:36:38 -0500

A gentleman I worked with once had a great demonstration for this. Ask the people in the group to line up according to their experience in jigsaw puzzles. Experts on the left. Novices on the right. Divide the group into teams of 3: an expert, a novice, and someone in the middle of the line as an observer. Ask the novices to wait in another room. Give each team a jigsaw puzzle to complete. The expert completes it while the observer records what is happening. When finished, the novice comes into the room and follows the directions written by the observer to put the puzzle together. The expert must remain quiet and watch.

The trick to this is that only one of the puzzles is your normal jigsaw puzzle. The rest are tricky: one is a red circle, one is printed with the same picture on both sides, one is a childs wooden puzzle, one is cut into mini pieces that you need tweezers to manipulate. Usually, the directions don't work.

The best outcome is that the participants see how experts forget to mention steps that they take because those steps are so ingrained in their process. Every time I have seen it used, the outcome has been a better understanding of the difficulty of communicating procedures to others.

Maybe you can tweak it (change the puzzle from when the expert does it to when the novice does it) and it will add to your presentation.

Michelle Wolfe
wolfem -at- bcbsil -dot- com





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