RE: Organizational Skills

Subject: RE: Organizational Skills
From: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 17:56:00 -0000

-----Original Message-----
Is anyone familiar with taking a large amount of technical documentation
(existing in one main folder, but about 20 sub-folders with multiple Word,
Visio, and .pdf files in each) and bringing it all together into a
consistent format and getting it "published" on a company intranet?
I didn't do it myself, but a couple of former cow-orkers were landed with a
very similiar project - converting large quantities of elderly documentation
in WordPerfect into Word.

Does each document exist in Word, Visio, and .pdf files, or are these
different documents for different purposes?

Your first mission (should you choose to accept it) is to decide what the
future consistent format is going to be. Take a look through all the
documentation, figure out two or three rough ideas, and try to get some
feedback on which is most usable from the people who will actually be using

If that's already been decided for you, find out how much leeway you have to
make changes in this format, providing you remain consistent over the whole
project. You need to be able to make *some* decisions, otherwise you're
bound to get yourself locked into some bad choices that were made by people
who weren't as familiar with the whole documentation set as you will be.

Automate all the changes you can. Sort out the changes required into sets
(changing the styles, changing the page layout, changing the tables,
changing the text layout) and move through all the documentation one set at
a time. Before you start on one set of changes, make sure you have a full


Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Compaq, UK
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.

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