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RE: Writing a product functional spec AFTER the product is built
Subject:RE: Writing a product functional spec AFTER the product is built From:"McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> To:Heather Anderson <Heather -dot- Anderson -at- cubrc -dot- org>, Tara English-Sweeney <tens00 -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Tue, 29 Jun 2010 11:10:02 -0400
Heather Anderson [mailto:Heather -dot- Anderson -at- cubrc -dot- org] replied:
> But that luxury isn't about to happen. We live in a market
> where waiting to release a product for any amount of time
> after it's finished would put us behind competitors. Or would
> put us behind fast-advancing customer needs.
> - Kevin
> I don't know about luxury. It's a pain half the time because
> we had to go back and retest, rework, recheck everything.
> And trying to write requirements from a finished product?
> Was not fun. Believe me. Mostly the questions were, "Well,
> crap, we are on version 2, we need this for version 1, what
> were the requirement changes?"
> ~ Heather
I can see that for the in-house define-the-product documents,
but you had mentioned customer-facing docs as well, and
those can only benefit from having a finite, stable, working
version of the product. I'd love to have a few weeks to go
back and load up version 4.x of one of our appliance products
right now, and put it through its paces, triple-check all the
command-line tools and utilities in the then-version, leisurely
browse the testers' test cases and test reports, the fixed
and outstanding issues in our issue-tracking system, and so
on. Wow! And nothing about that version is going to change.
It already exists. It's been shipped for weeks, months, at least.
But, alas, it's also been shipped with docs that were 'good
enough' at the time. Just as there was (don't laugh) a "code
freeze" during the product release's development, there was
(halfway through the QA test cycle, at the end of the release
process) a "darn it, Kevin, no more changes" freeze on fixes
and embellishments to the user docs. Any other problems that
I (or somebody else) found would have been release-noted.
So, for customer docs, the ability (and time) to work on
a completed, stable product is (would be) a non-existent luxury.
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