It seems I may have coined a phrase on the ScrumDevelopment list with my post "Emergent Documentation". I had been hearing echos from the technical writing world that sounded to me like object-oriented writing (actually called "single sourcing")... and I mused aloud.
After posting to numerous tech writer lists, I then came up with an expert in my own home town, Montreal. France Baril of IXIASOFT is one of the people driving out DITA, an OASIS xml standard for documentation, and she's pretty excited about what it could do for the field of tech writing. Now, she's a crossover from the world of programming, and when I spoke to her about Agile she was on board right away! We're hoping to collaborate in the coming year, to advance this cross-pollination, and hopefully bring tech writers inside our iterative processes, where they belong, just like testers. (Read more about DITA for software documentation).
France spotted this related post on Agile book publishing - ah, we are not the only ones thinking about this! Wonderful. Please, do leave me a comment if you have any further input on this subject! And Tobias just told me about this one from an Agile book publisher! Hurray!
(Note: France will be at the Information Highways conference in Toronto later this month. I adore the title of the talk she's participating in... "I can eat glass, it cannot hurt me: choosing a CMS system with a minimum of chaos" )