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Managing Your Documentation Projects (Anglais) Broché – 6 mai 1994


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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Practical, authoritative, and the first comprehensive guide to managing every phase of your publication project. The only book devoted exclusively to technical publication project management, Managing Your Documentation Projects arms you with proven strategies and techniques for producing high–quality, extremely usable documentation, while cutting cost and time–to–market. Dr. JoAnn T. Hackos, a top documentation design and project management consultant to major corporations, including IBM and Hewlett–Packard, shares with you the fruit of her more than 15 years of experience in the field. She gives you:
∗ Clear–cut, rational guidelines to managing every phase of the project from planning and development, through production, distribution, and project evaluation
∗ Scores of usable templates, checklists, summaries, and forms
∗ Dozens of real–life case studies and scenarios taken from the author′s extensive experience at top corporations
∗ Techniques applicable to virtually all fields of documentation
Managing Your Documentation Projects was designed to function as a comprehensive guide for new managers and a daily tool of survival for veterans. It is also an invaluable resource for technical writers, editors, graphic designers, consultants, and anyone called upon to produce high–quality technical documentation on time and within budget. JOANN T. HACKOS, PhD, is President of Comtech Services, Inc., an information/design firm in Denver, Colorado and San Jose, California. She is also president of JoAnn Hackos & Associates, Inc., a strategic planning and management consulting firm. In 1993, she served as president of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and is a frequent conference keynote speaker on such topics as quality and usability of products and services, the importance of meeting the needs of the customer, and project management.

Quatrième de couverture

Practical, authoritative, and the first comprehensive guide to managing every phase of your publication project The only book devoted exclusively to technical publication project management, Managing Your Documentation Projects arms you with proven strategies and techniques for producing high–quality, extremely usable documentation, while cutting cost and time–to–market. Dr. JoAnn T. Hackos, a top documentation design and project management consultant to major corporations, including IBM and Hewlett–Packard, shares with you the fruit of her more than 15 years of experience in the field. She gives you:
  • Clear–cut, rational guidelines to managing every phase of the project from planning and development, through production, distribution, and project evaluation
  • Scores of usable templates, checklists, summaries, and forms
  • Dozens of real–life case studies and scenarios taken from the author’s extensive experience at top corporations
  • Techniques applicable to virtually all fields of documentation
Managing Your Documentation Projects was designed to function as a comprehensive guide for new managers and a daily tool of survival for veterans. It is also an invaluable resource for technical writers, editors, graphic designers, consultants, and anyone called upon to produce high–quality technical documentation on time and within budget. JOANN T. HACKOS, PhD, is President of Comtech Services, Inc., an information/design firm in Denver, Colorado and San Jose, California. She is also president of JoAnn Hackos & Associates, Inc., a strategic planning and management consulting firm. In 1993, she served as president of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and is a frequent conference keynote speaker on such topics as quality and usability of products and services, the importance of meeting the needs of the customer, and project management.


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57 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not the Gospel 7 février 2003
Par A reader from - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Joanne Hackos is widely acknowledged as a leading authority on technical publications management, largely because (a) she has some good things to say and (b) her _Managing Your Documentation Projects_ is one of the few books on the topic. This book offers some valuable insights about basic project management, but tries to shoehorn publications project management into a particular software development methodology -- Carnegie-Mellon's Capabilities & Maturity Model. Hackos acknowledges her debt to CMM and warns that trying to implement the model described in this book is tough sledding if the development organization is not using CMM.
After 20 years as a technical writer and publications manager, I've come to believe that all publications lifecycle systems are doomed unless they map directly to the development methodology engineering management supports and uses.
(I've also come to believe that most development methodologies are more often than not honored in the breach.)
If, as a publications manager, you're not aware of the development methodology your engineering managers have adopted, you need to get over and talk to them now. Even if they haven't adopted a formal, academic model, they do have some idea about how they produce technical products. Tailor your publications lifecycle to their lifecycle -- don't seek to impose an alien "order" on their process.
(If your engineering managers can't articulate a methodology or say things like "We just code until we're done", you have bigger worries than your publications lifecycle, such as the near-term viability of your company.)
Too often I've seen tech pubs managers adopt the "Hackos model" and fail because it doesn't fit the organization's development style. A organization that adopts the Rapid Application Development (RAD) or "Extreme Programming" model, for example, isn't going to be too thrilled about endless sign-offs on planning documents that take nearly as long to write as the manual itself.
Instead, tailor your approach toward the high degree of interactivity inherent in such methods -- quick review cycles of small portions of text, for example, instead of waiting for a full draft of the book to be ready.
Too many erstwhile pubs managers skim this book, then adopt the project documents provided as models in the book as "fill-in-the-blank" busywork for their writers.
Tech pubs managers might be better served by learning the basics of project management (especially the interplay between resources, time, and scope) and reviewing the development model of the engineering organization than adopting the CMM-inspired approach Hackos describes in this book.
There is no one-size-fits-all method for producing documentation. And Joanne Hackos would be the first to tell you that.
55 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Should have been shorter 30 juin 1999
Par Robert Lawrence - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I have very mixed feelings about this book. Clearly Hackos has a tremendous amount of experience and has seen many successful projects from start to finish. Nonetheless, I'm troubled by the length of the book and the heavy reliance on project management methodologies from other disciplines. Hackos has correctly recognized that a documentation project has to be broken into stages, and the stages she suggests are (pretty) good. But the sheer number of deliverables produced in each phase is overwhelming. By bombarding developers with doc deliverables (information plans, content specifications, etc.) during the development cycle, you risk becoming the ninny on your software project--or more precisely, the schoolmarm. And that, I think, is what bothers me about this book in general: the schoolmarmish tone that resurfaces throughout. There is just too much detail.
Hackos is correct to suggest that writers must establish better rapport with developers. I think the way to do that, however, is to get closer to real development methodologies (rather than writing methodologies) that are gaining steam today. (Best example: Rational Software's Unified Process.) If the profession is ever to get the respect it deserves, technical writers will have to become more like programmers, and less like English teachers.
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Key to Senior Technical Writing Positions 15 septembre 2000
Par Sheldon S. Kohn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Any technical writer seeking to move into the upper levels of the profession will find that "Managing Your Documentation Projects" is one of the most useful books to read. I agree with other reviewers' comments about the dreadful illustrations and the problems one would have putting the entire bulky method into place in many technical environments. Many of the sample conversations Hackos includes as examples of what can happen when the process is applied are almost unintentionally ironic.
However, my experience is that the process and information that Hackos offers in this book will give you some of the tools you need to land a senior-level position. As Hackos herself writes, the ideas and material she offers are there for you to use, to try out, to modify so that they fit the requirements of your particular environment.
Some readers may be a bit put off by Hackos' focus on planning and delivering print publications. I have found that the ideas are flexible enough to transfer to different media. The important thing is to use project management for technical communications projects.
There is considerable ongoing debate within the technical writing profession as to the value of process and planning for the work. One argument is that process and planning takes us away from our real work and provides a convenient excuse when projects do not progress as required. Proponents of this idea often say something like, "Shut up and write." Another side holds that careful analysis and planning are integral parts of our work and we cannot succeed without a defined process. I find that a lot of high-tech companies are looking for process. They know that they need structure to produce quality products in a predictable, reliable way.
One caution worth noting, as Hackos herself advises, is that the model would have to be modified extensively to work in a Rapid Application Development (RAD) environment. Another caution is always to remember that the method is not the goal. At times, it is more important to produce documentation than it is to revise the project management materials to keep up with the latest twist or turn in a project.
I recommend "Managing Your Documentation Projects" for technical writers looking to move ahead in their careers. It is a bit pricey, but I think that many people would find it money well spent.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting but unrealistic 22 février 2001
Par Zizzed - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Hackos book is often extolled as the universal Bible of technical documentation. However, in reality many of her methods are impossible to implement and unrealistic. Hackos has a very traditional view of the tech pubs department. A view that is rapidly disappearing. The real world of tech writing is considerably muddier and dynamic. Last-minute changes and chaos are more often the norm than people want to accept.
Hackos book is a good place to get ideas to help define your own methods and practices. However, most of the ideas here are absurd and time consuming. Attempting to implement all her methods would quickly turn a tech pubs department into a mire of bureaucracy and unnecessary work.
As somebody who thinks developing documentation processes and extensive planning are often used as an excuse to avoid the real work of tech writing (namely *writing*), my bias is pretty obvious. Personally, I think many tech writers use Hackos' book as justification for wasting time building meaningless documentation processes when they should be out there talking to engineers, writing text, and designing graphics.
However, there are some good ideas in here. If need some basic guidelines for completing documentation projects, this isn't a bad place to pick them up.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Do you want a good guide to doc management? Buy this book. 6 mai 1999
Par Keith R. Wolfe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is an excellent source for documentation managers. I was thrust into a managing role after 1.5 years as a technical writer. This book really helped me make a mole hill out of a mountain. My only complaint is the extranious graphics/illustrations (which offer no profound insight or information). These graphics may add white space, making the book less intimidating to the green reader, but this is a specialized topic for a specialized audience, which doesn't need such pedestrian graphics. If you can learn to ignore the illustrations and stick to the content (which is excellent, by the way), this book will help you get a grip on managing documentation.
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