Re: Reviewers who don't review

Subject: Re: Reviewers who don't review
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Carrie Baker <carriebak -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 06:12:40 -0700 (PDT)

> Most of the people, don't care about the user manuals or the
> accuracy of their contents unless someone complains.

Not true. It's not that the "reviewers" out there refuse to review
because they object to the concept...they all think accurate
documentation is better than inaccurate documentation. And please, no
"yeah, well, I had a SME 12 years ago, who..." We all know there will
be exceptions.

I'll bet that almost every one of them would like accurate
documentation, but what they want more is accurate "whatever they are
first responsible for". It's a matter of time and being pulled in
multiple directions.

Example. I have a good relationship with a QA guy named Kenny, who
sits two rows over. His QA task list is planned out maybe two weeks
in the future. So, when I need him to check a 54 page installation
guide, I don't give him the guide and tell him to "have at it."

Instead, I'll ask him to "run through pages 12-23, 27, 30-31, and
45-50, paying particular attention to CLI instructions and
applicartion feedback. I don't need him to look at the rest unless he
needs to.

What I'm getting at is, understand that the person you are handing
the document to does not have the time to look at it. However, most
will if you seem to make an effort to maximize their efficiency.

> A company hired us to make user guides for their projects.

but the QA geek didn't hire us. They hired him to do what he does,
and unless he is instructed by his management that his job includes
documentation review (like around here), he'll do what management
requires of him, and they didn't say "review docs".

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

"I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

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Reviewers who don't review: From: Carrie Baker

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