Are you maintaining your documentation correctly?

Written by Mike Hayden


============================================================ Are you maintaining your documentation correctly? ============================================================

As I've said in many eZines, you must write stuff down.

The other day, an interviewer asked,

"How many pages you written?"

"Somewhere around 30,000 pages delivered, not including thousands of draft pages."

"You must love writing!"

"Not really."

"Then what...?"

"I don't love writing per se. I loverepparttar applications. I loverepparttar 119470 results. In writing, you can create, let's say,repparttar 119471 first level of reality. By writing, you can begin to give intangible ideas form inrepparttar 119472 physical universe.

"Can you imagine how many people discoveredrepparttar 119473 secret of fire and didn't write it down? The news had to spread by 'tribal knowledge!'

"How many times didrepparttar 119474 secret vanish because some fire-novice asphyxiated himself and family? How many times do think some do-gooder banned fire due to its dangers?

"It probably took eons to discover that secret - over and over!

"Eventually, I suppose, someone wroterepparttar 119475 secret on a cave wall or cocktail napkin..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Planning to write is not writing. Outlining... researching... talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing." -- E.L. Doctorow

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyway, when you write stuff down, you'll eventually need to update it. (I'll talk here about large, important documents - Operations Manuals, Technical Manuals, User Manuals, or mayberepparttar 119476 secret of fire and how to control it.)

"Mike, what have you learned overrepparttar 119477 years about maintaining documentation?"

Well, large documentation projects have their own "life cycle." This cycle extends from conception to obsolescence.

When you develop large-scale documents, you'll typically iterate throughrepparttar 119478 following:

1. Requirements. Includes definition, statement of goals, preliminary analysis, functional specifications, and design constraints.

2. Design. Includes outline definition, format definition, etc.

3. Implementation. Requires writing, editing, integration of various components, and proofing.

4. Testing. Includes verification and evaluation againstrepparttar 119479 requirements.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But wait! There's another phase I call Documentation Maintenance! It begins after you deliver your documentation to your user.

You can divide Documentation Maintenance intorepparttar 119480 following steps: ___ Determine need for change ___ Submit Change Request ___ Review Proposed Changes ___ Analyze requirements ___ Approve/Reject Change Request ___ Schedule task(s) ___ Review and Analyze Design ___ Write and Edit ___ Test ___ Verify against Standards ___ User Acceptance

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In these steps, I outlinerepparttar 119481 maintenance process, which begins when someone needs a change and ends when your user accepts your changes.

As you can imagine, changing documentation is frequently complex and may involve many people.

For example, imaginerepparttar 119482 task of updating documentation for applications in complex electronics, aerospace, law, medical, insurance, etc. Or, how about updating flight-prep manual for a commercial airliner?

The maintenance process above appears linear. But again, you'll undergo many steps and iterative loops.

For example,

You may need to clarifyrepparttar 119483 Change Request. You may require more analysis ofrepparttar 119484 Design Reviews. You may need to rewrite your Standards Audit. Your users may fail to acceptrepparttar 119485 results, etc.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Someone,repparttar 119486 "Maintainer(s)" must dorepparttar 119487 work.

This Maintainer must make changes withinrepparttar 119488 context ofrepparttar 119489 existing documentation. Maintenance people often find thisrepparttar 119490 most challenging problem.

The olderrepparttar 119491 documentation,repparttar 119492 more challenging and time-consumingrepparttar 119493 maintenance effort. But normally, maintenance takes you less time than development.

New Leadership For A New War

Written by Brent Filson


PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided torepparttar author, and it appears withrepparttar 119469 included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: brent@actionleadership.com

Word count: 1465 =========================================== Summary: The author observes thatrepparttar 119470 war on terror calls for a new kind of leadership. Just asrepparttar 119471 war is "asymmetrical", it needs "asymmetrical leadership" to help win it. Fortunately, such leadership doesn't have to be invented. It's already been developed by business leaders forrepparttar 119472 past several decades inrepparttar 119473 global marketplace. =========================================== New Leadership For A New War By Brent Filson

Military analysts call this "asymmetrical" war (as if war has a terrible symmetry); and we know that it will be as different from conventional war as three-dimensional, blindfolded chess is from conventional chess. But one thing is certain, leadership lies atrepparttar 119474 heart of achieving victory. You only have to look to history to understand that when people needed to accomplish great things, whether in war or peace, great leaders had to rise torepparttar 119475 occasion. Because asymmetrical war is a new kind of war, a war that is more about waging peace on many different levels than waging actual war itself, a war/peace in which accountants, logisticians, diplomats, economic experts will also berepparttar 119476 front-line troops, it calls for a new kind of leadership asymmetrical leadership.

Just as asymmetrical war is fluid, multi-dimensional, and global, asymmetrical leadership must be too. But we don't have to create asymmetrical leadership from scratch. To some extent, it's already being developed and modeled in a few forward-thinking American businesses. What does business leadership have to do with waging asymmetrical war? Duringrepparttar 119477 past 15 or 20 years, many businesses have had to compete in asymmetrical markets, markets that are global, multi-faceted and swiftly changing. To succeed in these markets,repparttar 119478 leaders of these businesses have had to discard old leadership methods and practices and put into action new ones. In short, they've had to develop asymmetric leadership.

To understand such leadership, first, let's look atrepparttar 119479 basic concept of leadership itself. The word "leadership" itself comes from old Norse root meaning "to make go." But leaders often stumble when trying to understand who makes what go? Generally,repparttar 119480 conventional view of leadership has been one of an order-giving process. Many leaders believe that they must "make" people go by ordering them to do things. Order-leadership in business has its roots inrepparttar 119481 beginnings ofrepparttar 119482 Industrial Revolution. "Order" comes from a Latin root meaning to arrange threads in a weaving woof. The captains ofrepparttar 119483 Revolution dealt withrepparttar 119484 relatively uneducated country people who flocked to their factories by ordering them where, how, and when to work. The most efficient and effective production methods resulted from workers being "ordered" or ranked like threads inrepparttar 119485 woof of production lines. Refined and empowered byrepparttar 119486 Victorian commercial culture, with its patriarchal power structure and strong links to Prussian military organization,repparttar 119487 culture ofrepparttar 119488 order-giver leader reached its zenith inrepparttar 119489 United States after World War II.

Duringrepparttar 119490 post-war years, many U.S. businesses were like ocean liners plowing through relatively calm seas, their leaders, like liner captains and mates, running things by getting orders from superiors, giving orders to subordinates and making sure that those orders were carried out.

But roughly sincerepparttar 119491 mid-1980s, with competition increasing dramatically on a global scale, business leaders have come to need skills not akin to ocean liner piloting but white-water canoeing. Order leadership founders where lines of authority are blurring,repparttar 119492 volume and velocity of information proliferating, markets rapidly changing, and alliance and coalition building multiplying. This is where asymmetrical leadership comes in. Asymmetrical leadership is to traditional leadership as white water canoeing is to ocean liner piloting.

Here are a few characteristics of asymmetrical leadership. Asymmetrical leadership is motivational: Businesses that engage in asymmetrical leadership find that motivation is a critical factor in achieving success. After all, since leaders do nothing more important than get results and since they can't get results all by themselves, they needrepparttar 119493 people they lead to get results. In markets where speed, innovation, change acceleration, and global reach are important, motivated people get far more results than people who are simply responding to orders. And if our nation's leaders expect to meetrepparttar 119494 challenges of asymmetrical warfare, they must come to grips withrepparttar 119495 motivational aspects of asymmetrical leadership. In fact, if asymmetric leadership isn't motivational, it's simply running around inrepparttar 119496 dark. But leaders often misunderstand motivation simply becauserepparttar 119497 English language fails to describe how it takes place. English construes motivation as an active verb as something one person does to another person. The truth is that leaders can't motivate anybody to do anything. Leaders communicate repparttar 119498 people whom they lead motivate. They motivate themselves. Only they can motivate themselves. In asymmetrical leadership,repparttar 119499 motivators andrepparttar 119500 motivatees arerepparttar 119501 same people. To engage in asymmetrical leadership, leaders must recognize that they are motivating people only when they,repparttar 119502 leaders, create an environment in which those people are actively motivating themselves. Motivation isrepparttar 119503 people's choice, notrepparttar 119504 leader's choice. It'srepparttar 119505 people's free choice. If that principle is not driving leadership activities, people are not engaged in asymmetrical leadership.

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