Monday, July 28, 2008

Who would think of this at the beach: managing documentation projects

Writing Projects

How long is this thing?

I recently attended the AODC 2008 conference on the Gold Coast, which by the way, is a great place for a conference for the early morning walks along the beach.

The presentation I most wanted to hear was called 'Estimating Documentation Projects' by Stewart Walker.

I was interested in this topic because many of the projects I have worked on have the notorious habit of 'scope-creep,' whereby the project gets bigger and bigger, but the deadline doesn't move!

Stewart's talk combined two methods that are commonly employed by project managers in documentation projects: the cradle to grave metrics model advocated by JoAnn Hackos in her book Managing Your Documentation Projects, and the bottom-up, task by task method that makes it easier to manage the work on a day-by-day basis.

The beauty of this approach is that you get the benefits of both, which I hadn't considered before.

A fellow technical writer, Sarah Maddox, wrote copious notes at the conference and posted them on her blog for us all to see:

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