RE: SMEs and me (long) + a question

Subject: RE: SMEs and me (long) + a question
From: "Fisher, Melissa" <Melissa -dot- Fisher -at- delta-air -dot- com>
To: "'Rock, Megan'" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 10:12:00 -0400

Megan writes:

>Our problem is that after the SME has signed off on the manual, engineers
>from other segments within the company find out that we're doing the manual
>and ask to see a copy of it. Then we end up with several people who want
>last-minute changes. With 200-300 developers/engineers/technical experts,
>it can be a challenge to identify who should review the manual. We usually
>leave it up to the primary SME we're working with to decide who else should
>review a copy of the manual before sign-off, but sometimes people get left
>out accidentally or find out very late in the process. We haven't figured
>out the best way to handle this. We'd have fewer last-minute changes if
>everybody who thought they should review the manual had a chance to look at
>it before we go to production. Does anybody have any suggestions??

Where I used to work, we addressed this problem by sending drafts to
representatives from each department with a vested interest in the manual.
Typically this meant that in addition to the primary developer and QA rep,
the training and tech support departments would have the opportunity to
review at least a penultimate draft. Sometimes these departments did not
have the time or inclination to do a thorough review, so we just made it
clear that they had until such-and-such date to provide any input they
wanted to. After that, any changes they wanted would be re-prioritized.
Sometimes we would catch flack for not giving people enough time to review
something, but then they would often still be making UI changes a week
before release. You can only paddle upstream just so fast. :-)

Your company sounds bigger than the one I described above. Are you organized
into project teams? Where I am now we are organized into smaller, mostly
independent teams, and it's pretty easy to talk to anyone involved in a

HTH, good luck,
Melissa Fisher
melissa -dot- fisher -at- delta-air -dot- com
(404) 773-8674

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