Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
Avoiding the endless march
Gary Conroy covers an important subject in "Stop it with those 50-Step Procedures." Some folks think that writing procedures is easy -- just jot down all the steps and you're done. But that results in a transcript, not usable documentation. You cross the line of usefulness far before you hit 50 steps, but Conroy's point is well taken. His suggestions will get you started in correcting the problem.
I'll add that the same guidelines apply to all procedures, not just the long ones. If you're writing 7 steps, perhaps it is really 3 steps and you've fallen into the same trap on a smaller scale. Looking critically at all of your own work, not just the glaring sore spots, can make a big difference.