Well, a difference of opinion is what makes a horse race. Iterative software 
methods do not require iterative documentation methods; in most cases, 
documentation before the last iteration is considered both wasteful and 
useless. While I have a great deal of respect for Steve McConnell, proposing 
early draft user guides as a replacement for requirement specs is a bit off the 
road. 

If you develop software, and intend to use early draft user guides instead of 
requirements, you are going to be greeting the folks at Wal-Mart rather than 
trying to pull back a contract or two from Bangalore. The statement is at odds 
with most developers' (and most business analysts') understanding of 
"requirements." Putting an occasional "agile" into a sentence doesn't make the 
process any more reasonable. 

I didn't invent the idea of ignoring documentation until the final product is 
ready (or almost ready) to ship. Far more intelligent, competent, and capable 
people than me have decided that "involving TWs from the early stages of 
development" is only useful when the end product is carved in stone before the 
first line of code is written. That, for better of worse, is rarely the case.

Lastly, given that about a third of all software projects, agile or otherwise, 
fail so badly they are abandoned, if you ignore documentation completely, you 
have a one in three chance of coming out ahead when the project flops because 
you have at least saved the cost of documentation.
http://www.tekwrytrs.com/Specializing in the Design, Development, and 
Production of:Technical Documentation - Online Content - Enterprise Websites


Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 12:21:17 -0700From: bhechter at yahoo.comSubject: re: 
radical revamping of techpubsTo: tekwrytr at hotmail.comCC: framers at 
lists.frameusers.comSorry, but I find the thread both:a) Off-topicb) 
Misleading. Iterative sofware methods require iterative documentation methods, 
but by no means do they eliminate the parallel need for early draft user 
manuals. In fact, Steve McConnell (Code Complete) proposes early draft user 
guides as an agile replacement for requirements specs.Ben> Because the 
application itself is built in an iterative process, rather than > being carved 
in stone, reacting to feedback from the client, documentation > before the last 
minute is pointless.  The reason should be obvious; the > application being 
documented in the early stages bears little resemblance > to the application 
delivered. Ben Hechter Vancouver BC bhechter at yahoo.com
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