Being Agile With Documentation


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Agile environments can be both challenging and rewarding places for technical writers. Appropriate documentation is essential to the efficient production, testing, and acceptance of software. One way to be Agile with documentation to evolve it in parallel with the system development — delivering user stories, use cases, UI designs, system tests, manuals, and even online help — with just enough detail, and just in time. Come and explore some ways that you can be Agile with your documentation. This presentation isn't intended to provide a silver bullet solution, but it may give you some ideas beyond those famous (infamous?) 3x5 index cards.

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  • Being Agile With Documentation

    1. 1. Being Agile with Documentation or… how technical communicators can survive (and thrive) on Agile Projects
    2. 2. Who am I, and why am I here?
    3. 3. What do you know about Agile…
    4. 4. So… What is Agile?
    5. 5. Individuals and Interactions <ul><li>over processes and tools </li></ul>
    6. 6. Working Software <ul><li>over comprehensive documentation </li></ul>
    7. 7. Customer Collaboration <ul><li>over contract negotiation </li></ul>
    8. 8. Responding to Change <ul><li>over following a plan </li></ul>
    9. 9. Sustainable Pace <ul><li>Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design </li></ul>
    10. 10. Simplicity <ul><li>Self-Organizing Teams Reflection and Improvement </li></ul>
    11. 11. But… what does it all mean? Don’t just do Agile… Be Agile
    12. 12. Now… what does that mean for technical writers?
    13. 13. <ul><li>writing and editing </li></ul><ul><li>document design </li></ul><ul><li>using language effectively to please or persuade (rhetoric) </li></ul><ul><li>problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration and teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>interpersonal and oral communication </li></ul><ul><li>facility with, and ability to learn, technologies </li></ul>Adapt your Core Competencies
    14. 14. The biggest difference is the Mindset
    15. 15. Integration with the Development Team
    16. 16. No Prescription for Documentation – so we will have to write our own
    17. 17. Whiteboards… <ul><li>and Markers… and Cameras… oh my! </li></ul>
    18. 18. “Typical” Agile Requirements Documentation Create a new article for publishing Publish an article to the website Delete a published article
    19. 20. KIS and KIL <ul><li>and a dollop of Horse Sense </li></ul>
    20. 21. Documentation and Coding should proceed in Parallel
    21. 22. Focus on Users and their Needs
    22. 23. Develop Design Patterns for your Documentation
    23. 24. Sources of Design Patterns
    24. 25. Design for Change
    25. 26. Some resources to check out <ul><li>Manifesto for Agile Software Development </li></ul><ul><li>Scott Ambler – Agile Modeling website http:// </li></ul><ul><li>WritersUS – Agile Technical Documentation </li></ul>
    26. 27. Questions? Discussion?
    27. 28. Thank You [email_address]