We are nearing the end of a release cycle and will soon be starting the next set of workstreams and, excitingly, we’ve managed to push the involvement of the technical writers right up to the early design stages.
What does this mean?
Roughly speaking the process of creating the stories is one part of the scoping and planning stages of our development cycle. Each feature is broken down into a set of requirements, and those requirements are further broken down into one or more stories. The stories are then broken down into discrete work tasks (a few days work at maximum).
The stories are stated in terms of “the user would like to … ” and are used to help the developers understand what they need to do to meet the requirements. We are hoping that, by writing them, we can both be involved in the early design stages as well as gaining an early start on the product documentation. The stories will become the concepts for the documentation, and we can then flesh out the tasks and reference information as and when the development work is completed.
Be interesting to see how well it works, but hey it’s worth a try.