Rewriting and Streamlining

Subject: Rewriting and Streamlining
From: Geri Lou Ciotoli <GCIOTOLI -at- ECS-INC -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 11:06:13 -0500

Good morning all;:

I have been assigned the task of rewriting and streamlining an existing
manual set (of approx 6000 pages) and I'm having trouble figuring out how to
begin. As I'm looking at these manuals, it would be easy to just start
editing which would only "reword" the existing manuals; that's not what I
want to do. What I need to do is really streamline and incorporate
procedural step by step instructions. The manuals are currently
informational type manuals of an intro, screen and the screen's field
definitions (of course with informational and conceptual info as well). The
manuals follow the software from program to program (so you end up having to
look back a few pages to figure out how to get to a program within a
program). These manuals are useful if you read the manual from front cover
to last page. Users don't use the manuals that way. I need to rewrite
these manuals to be more procedural and useful to the users.

Can any of you offer suggestions on where to begin? I'm thinking of just
setting aside the manual and work completely from the software .. but I
think that might be throwing away valuable information and creating more
work for myself.

I'm on digest so please, cc: me at gciotoli -at- ecs-inc -dot- com

Geri Lou Ciotoli
Enterprise Computer Systems, Inc.

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