Creating a Documentation Kit

Subject: Creating a Documentation Kit
From: "Cara O Sullivan" <cara_osullivan -at- modusmedia -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 10:36:09 -0600

Dear TechWhirl List:

Hi folks. I'd appreciate input on aan idea I have for a rather complex
documentation situation. I work for a global fulfillment and shipping
company that has over 20 plants around the world, and about 3,200
employees.We have a few hundred IT employees involved in Help Desk, front-
and back-office IT systems management and even software development.

I am the only documentation writer in all of this. As you can imagine, our
process and IT documentation requirements are enormous. And you also know
that documentation can help enforce IT standards. Well, we've got a huge IT
implementation project at the moment that involves lots of testing and

To meet the need, I've proposed the idea of a documentation kit that
contains a MS Word template (this is an internal standards); a how-to guide;
and a pre-formatted Excel project spreadsheet that will help team leads
plan and track the progress of their documentation. I'll be available to
help plan the projects, review drafts and provide editing support. The
managers involved with this project are very enthusiastic about the kit and
getting their people trained on it.

Has anyone on this list ever done anything similar to this? If so, what
pitfalls should I avoid? And is there anything else I could include in the
kit to make it more effective? This kit will be used by people who know lots
about their jobs--some will be good writers and most probably won't be. They
will also be people who don't want to be writing. I've tried to design this
kit with that in mind. This kit really takes the place of a global team of
writers, which is what we should have but simply can't afford in the current
economic environment.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

Cara O'Sullivan, Provo, Utah

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