Intro: was: Word master/sub documents

Subject: Intro: was: Word master/sub documents
From: henri -dot- kroeze -at- dcstrans -dot- nl
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 09:30:26 +0100

Oh, I'm sorry. An FD is a Functional Design and a TD is a ... Technical
Design... :-)
We're a software company. Originally AS400 based software for the
transport and logistics 'world', covering all aspects of transport and

One aspect of my job is to get the documentation (any documentation)
straight. There is tons of work in it... The Functional Designs and
Technical Designs are most of the time ok, because they're for internal
use only. Other then a confirmation from the client.
But then there are the manuals... I laugh my a** off sometimes for the
creative phrases my collegues (non TW's) have come up with. The manuals
are full of 'now you do this' 'you can use this function ' 'you may use
this option'... Oh boy, there is so much work in getting it right. But the
most frightning part is... (since I am a novice to the company's
software), I really do not understand the manuals at all...
First thought: let's put heads and tails to it, so I started to document
the menu paths that will get one to the screens presented in the
manuals... (yep, that was missing as well).
So I started studying the menu system... Trying to find the screen names
in the menu options... NO WAY!!! 75% of the screen names differ from the
menu options they're called from! Now I'm reworking the menu names and
structure to get them line up with the screen names....
Then a functional description about what is covered in the manual (or in a
specific chapter) has to be added. Here I have to rely on the Funcitonal

No one ever wondered or cared to bother about this. That we even have
clients that buy our software, is really beyond me... No, not really, the
functionality is great, only the appearance is just not so great. A
typically 'tech only' environment. It works, just don't bother about the

Oh yes, forgot to mention, I'm not a 100% TW, my official title is Quality
Manager and there is a LOT of quality that has to be put into this
software! I also take care of the yearly release of a new version of the
software (called a PTF, which stands for Program Temporary Fix and no one
can tell me when the temp fix will turn into a permanent fix..) and the
translation of the software into three languages (Dutch, French and

I love it and I find this board very educational, because I see a lot of
topics where I've run into as well...
Only drawback is that after signing up I receive at least 10 virusses a

The tip about the Master Sub document by Martin Page is very helpfull. I
use it to write an advice on which Staff can decide what direction to go
with the documentation.


Henri Kroeze
Quality Manager
DCS Transport & Logistics Solutions
the Netherlands



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