Re. How to document multiple user roles?

Subject: Re. How to document multiple user roles?
From: SIANNON -at- VISUS -dot- JNJ -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 8:10:31

Writer Whirler wonders:
<<I am writing a user guide for an application whose users can have one of
three levels of permissions: A, A+B, or A+B+C. The business wants me to
write one user guide that incorporates all functions, instead of three
separate guides, which is fine with me... How much should I explain the
three roles a user can have?>>

And Geoff Hart responds:
<<As in any other place where you create separate roles, you need to
these roles somewhere.>>
[--snip a good deal of helpful advice and examples--]
<<And yet another: In this case, A, B, and C tasks may be all closely
related. Consider, for example, file management: everyone should be able to
see the files (A), only some people can modify and copy files (B), and only
administrators (C) can delete files. In this case, you might have a single
topic (files) with three subheadings: things everyone can do (A), things
only the creator of the file can do (B), and things only network
administrators can do (C).>>

Here's where my problems emerge (I'm in the same boat as the original
poster). Scenario:
-- Internally developed and used software (the end customers are our own
people) covering multiple functions in one interface
-- A, B, C, D and E are roles that allow the user to complete different
(sometimes complex) functions. Role A is "view only" access that everyone
using the system must have. Role E is a function that everyone can access,
regardless of their responsibilities, because it does not require special
security access (performs action with output, but does not change data).
The other roles address the ability to do things that will change the data
in the system.
-- Users Q, X and Z can have different assortments of these roles assigned
to them, depending on their responsibilities. These responsibilities may
not always directly map to a specific assortment of functions.
-- Furthermore, roles C and D apply to a function that can be used for two
different areas' products (which must be differentiated due to different
proccessing constraints across the two areas), and thus the function
operates differently (including the prompts and options available)
depending on which of these types of products are entered.

So, with the following combinations, how would you structure a single-doc
training manual? (I'm honestly seeking feedback on different and preferred
approaches here.)
User Q: A, B, E
User X: A, C(1), D(1), E
User Z: A, C(2), D(2), E

I am currently pushing to use an online Help format instead of the paper
manuals, to allow smoother "if-then" navigability and one-stop-shopping for
updates. However, at the moment I'm having to do this with a paper

Currently One with the Knotwork,
Shauna Iannone
/ \


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