Wednesday, April 14, 2010

OffiSync + Google "Cloud" (e.g., Docs, Sites) + Google SaaS (Apps) + MS Word

OffiSync - the short story: Just go to the links at the bottom of this post.

The background:
Over the years I have done a lot of work in documentation, and two things stood out as being very useful in that work:
  • MSW (for "Microsoft Word"): Since 1998 my dependence on MW has grown. Then, I had to embark on a journey to become a "power user" of MSW, when faced with some major documentation tasks on a large and complex documentation project. I initially read "Taking Word for Windows to the Edge" from cover to cover, to begin that journey. Over the years, MSW has been continually refined and improved by Microsoft. It is an amazingly powerful document creation/editing tool - though sometimes I still miss the power of Macintosh Publisher (I think that was it's name) from the '80s.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tip - Defining your Information Management requirements

I was having a discussion in email with someone about what their requirements were for information management and I suggested an approach for them to define their requirements. I developed the suggestion further in order to make this post.

 To a large extent, the typical approach is for users to take an ad hoc, features-based approach to stating their requirements. That is, looking at the features of an information management system (e.g., Evernote or InfoSelect or Gmail, amongst others) and saying "Look how useful that is" or "I don't like this" (e.g., a "ribbon" menu) or "I do like this" (e.g., the ribbon). This actually is not the most helpful way (to a developer) to go about providing or gathering requirements, since a like or a dislike does not necessarily define a requirement nor does it necessarily even identify a requirement. This is why attempting to build a requirements list by, for example, a straw pole (likes and dislikes) is usually doomed to failure. It is, in fact, irrational.
As WE Deming said, "Action that is not based on sound theory or best practice is irrational by definition".