Ya can't win

Subject: Ya can't win
From: "John Posada" <JPosada -at- isogon -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 17:54:35 -0500

About a month ago, I tracked down a document put together by our design
department that described a new application. It would be classified as a
Functional Requirement. The software didn't exist...not code-line-one.
The screens in the document were hand drawn, scanned, and placed in.

Around here, the history has been similar to most companies...the beta
of the application is presented and at that point, someone starts
writing the document. The application availability is planned to happen
around May 1.

Since I'd just delivered a product document and was between product
releases, I decided to see if I could create the kernel of a User Guide,
pretty much as a framework for future document development. I ended up
with about 123 pages of manual for an application that didn't exist
yet...purely based on the Functional document and an Excel requirements
document I found on the printer that I "borrowed" (I made a
photocopy..so shoot me).

So...last week..The Project Manager calls a kickoff meeting to outline
their documentation expectations. He walks in with a one-page project
plan and I walk in with 4 copies of the draft document and my laptop
with a draft of the help.

He was floored. Mind you, this places the document part of the project
about 2 months ahead of schedule.

Hmm..what's the reward for this? Candy? Bonus check? Parade me around on
their shoulders? Nah...this morning, he calls a meeting for 4pm. The
subject of the meeting? "When can we have the next draft so that QA can
start writing their test cases?"


Thank god it's Friday evening...this was the LONGEST week...

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
Isogon Corporation


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