Project managers verbalize the big picture in a project plan. This high-level document covers the scope and requirements. Alone it doesn’t answer all questions so the plan is complemented by subsidiary plans. Project teams manage their work through a set of formal planning documents. They cover details about department functions. Scheduling, staffing, cost, quality, risk, acceptance and communications functions are created as subsidiary plans.
I recall only a few times in the last decade when a project required a documentation plan. Depending on whether technical documentation falls under marketing or R&D will determine who manages documentation planning.
It must have been twenty years ago when Larry Ellison fascinated me with the idea of diskless desktop computers. The benefit as I saw it was that some grandmaster App would keep the department’s word processing installations up to date.
Eventually, maintaining software as a service became its own product. Known as SaaS the service is enabled through cloud computing. Other service models include infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). These services make up about a third of cloud computing activities. File sharing accounts for another third.
By offloading IT involvement, users stay focused on work. It can be argued that universally accessible tools and services promote a strong collaborative culture.
Front end applications and services
Informal results from a session on documentation collaboration.
Hello, my name is Spring!
I’ve resurfaced, finally, after completing a long contract. Now there are IOU lunches to plan and vacation photos to edit, and after criss-crossing Canada, it’s a must-do to get back into the swing of professional development.
They say to carry a pocketful of business cards and memorize your elevator pitch. You just never know what can become of a networking opportunity. This week I scored four professional events happening in downtown Vancouver. It’s always instructive to observe, even better to hone the pitch, and totally awesome when your card is pulled for a door prize.
||Editors’ Association of Canada
||International Association of Business Communicators
||STC Canada West Coast
||Domain Driven Design Practices
||Plain Language Certification
||How to Network Effectively
||Eric Evans, author Domain-Driven Design, Addison-Wesley 2004, thought leader in software design and domain modeling
||Katherine McManus, Director of SFU Writing & Communications Program
||Karen Lee, IABC Canada – Master Communicator, teaches for the University of Victoria in the Public Relations diploma program
||Neil Perlin, internationally-known online content consultant
||March 18, 2013
||March 20, 2013
||March 21, 2013
||March 19, 2013
||Exploring and Distilling the Core Domain: An Anonymized Case Study
||SFU’s role in grant-funded project to launch international certification in plain language
||Industry expert advises how to effectively network your way through an event
||Overview of help authoring tools and history
||Standup presentation, slides
||Standup presentation, slides, voice recorded, photographed
||Instructor led presentation (no slides) and networking practice
||Webinar, remote presentation
||Before and after
||Pre meeting dinner, before and after
||Before and after, and during as an activity
||Before and after
||Renaissance Harbourside Hotel
||Harbour Centre, SFU
||Coffee and tea
||Door prizes, fruit, homemade cookies
||Door prizes, donuts, juice
||Tea, cookies, grapes
||Online thru Eventbrite, at door
||Online, at door
||Online, at door, by phone
||Online, at door
||12 (+9 remote)
The process map is an information type in the Information Mapping Method. Similarly, SIPOC is a tool from the Define and Measure phases of a Six Sigma project. SIPOC takes its name from Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers. These segments in the process map define where a process starts and ends. Here I’m going to show how the SIPOC tool is used to write process documentation. This is a quick exercise that serves process improvement.
- ID the process. Name the key point. What does it do? What is its purpose?
- ID the outputs. What happens, whether desirable or not. What are the deliverables, outcomes, and results.
- ID the customers. Who becomes the recipient? Think ‘voice of the customer’ and whether the customer is internal or external.
- ID the inputs. What series of events causes or triggers a process? Are they manual? Automatic?
- ID the suppliers. Who provides the resources? People? Systems?
SIPOC templates are readily available to help you sketch out this info using a particular flow. Or make your own template:
- Hold a piece of paper horizontally and fold it in fives.
- From left to right title each folded column, one letter per column, S-I-P-O-C.
- Then working in reverse from right to left identify the Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers.
If fonts were cars, the Arial Light would be fitting for night driving. I imagine it having a softly illuminated dashboard and headlight-cancelling rearview mirrors. Reading too should offer the same adaptations–flick a few switches to give us the best fonts in pleasing shades so we don’t ruin our eyes.
Twelve-point Comic Sans MS, if it’s not banned outright the silly font just might be critical to learning. A psychologist at Princeton University found that the harder a font’s readability, the better the recall. A block of text set with 50% leading is easier to read than text having no line space where ascenders and descenders touch. The point size can be used as a unit of measuring type and line space. For regular newspaper and book text, 8pt to 12pt usually satisfies.
Economist article, Learning Difficulties: Making something hard to read means it is more likely to be remembered.
Today, we paused to remember those who served. My father who served in WWII called it Armistice Day long after the US renamed it Veterans Day.
He’d fasten the poppy’s wire stem through a buttonhole. By December the poppy hung like mistletoe from the Ford’s rear view mirror.
Nations render their own design of the poppy pin. At last week’s meeting on the European debt crisis, we saw leafed and non-leafed variations adorn lapels of heads of state.
Remembrance Day, has now passed. Yet we vow to never forget.
Surveys are meant for collecting data. The analysis says how one measures up to other survey takers. But sometimes the data is useless. A simple error in survey design proves why.
If you’re a customer responding to a satisfaction survey, you’d assume “1″ to be low on a scale of 1 to 10. The question goes something like this; How satisfied are you with your purchase? Very satisfied? Somewhat satisfied? Not at all satisfied? Phrased another way, on a scale of 1 to 3 where 1 means not satisfied and 3 means very satisfied, how satisfied are you with your purchase?
In this survey, the only sure rating is “5″.
We would value your opinion if we hadn’t redesigned the rating system.
The key is knowing how tools work, whether a job takes physical strength or mouse clicks. I used the latter to find a handyman. My needs were simple.
- Loosen shower handle so that it turns easily.
- Adjust shower doors so that they slide fully from end to end.
- Align bi-folding doors and adjust hinge hardware.
An online rating service helped pinpoint the ideal handyman. In describing the smallish job, I learned the estimate would cost the minimum charge. Exactly two hours later I was a pleased customer. My turn now to rate the worker.
When you can’t be sure how content will be presented use terminal punctuation. Omitting punctuation in a text box could display something unexpected. While the feedback form let me list a few items, the online version de-itemized the list.