Brainstorming for GlassFish v3 User Tasks: Preparing to Facilitate a Session

The GlassFish v3 documentation team is now meeting regularly to determine the content, organization, and focus of the GlassFish v3 documentation. These meetings are open to anyone who's interested in shaping, improving, or contributing to the GlassFish documentation. Community input is critical to this effort and members of the community are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved.

At the meeting of January 31st, 2008, I outlined a process for identifying scope and participants of task brainstorming sessions.

The next step in the process of brainstorming for user tasks is for the facilitators to prepare for their sessions. If you are the facilitator of a task brainstorming session, prepare for the session as follows:

  • Read any available source material and note down the tasks that you find.

    As you read the source material, try to keep in mind the scope of the task brainstorming session . Any tasks that you identify should be within the scope of the session. Also try to keep in mind the primary goals of the product. Any tasks that you identify should enable users to achieve one or more of these goals.

    Examples of source material to read are as follows:

    • User documentation for earlier releases of the product

    • Use case analyses

    • Requirements specifications

    • Functional specifications

    • Test specifications

    • Detailed design documents

  • Contact your subject matter experts one to two weeks before the session to ask them to start thinking of ideas for the session.

    • Include a statement of the scope of the session.

    • Stress that the aim of the session is to identify things that users will do with the product.

    • Encourage your subject matter experts not to think about documentation topics at this stage, but to focus on the goals of users and the things that users have to do to accomplish these goals. Thinking about documentation topics comes later, when you write the content outline.

    • List the source material that you read in preparation for the session.

  • Come prepared with some ideas of your own to stimulate the flow of ideas from your subject matter experts. By providing examples of the types of idea that you want to gather, you can help clarify the thoughts of subject matter experts who might be unsure of what you are asking for.

The schedule of task brainstorming sessions identifies the facilitator of each session. Each item in the Scope column of the schedule of task brainstorming sessions is a link to a wiki page that provides more information about the task brainstorming session:

  • A statement of the scope of the session
  • A list of links to source material that the facilitator will read in preparation for the session.

The wiki page for a task brainstorming session will also be used to record the ideas that are gathered during the session.

Comments:

Wow. You should be a program manager, not a writer.

Posted by Sue Weber on February 06, 2008 at 02:39 PM PST #

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