Help Management Question - REPOST

Subject: Help Management Question - REPOST
From: smithelizabeth -at- hotmail -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 14:38:24 -0700

Hi everybody,

Everybody was probably geared up for the holiday last week when I posted
this, so I'm reposting my message. Any help is appreciated!


I an a tech writer in the telecommunications industry, and our product
allows outside companies to manage features for their internal phone
systems via a Web interface.

After a usability study last winter and a decision to increase our
customer base to include other regions of the country, two JAD sessions
were held in the past couple of months. It was determined that 3 releases
should be deployed by next July. In writing the online help for this
system, I have estimated (at 50% confidence level) Release X would take me
223 hours, Release Y would take me 605 hours, and Release Z would take me
200 hours.

Release X: Feb 2005
Release Y: June 2005
Release Z: July 2005

My current duties (I'm the only tech writer) are online help for the web
application, online admin guide for the web application, and release
documentation to be distributed to help desk and admins. [The release doc
can easily be 50-70 pages long, since they contain screen shots, info
about using the Unix system for administration, etc.].

We have a human factors contractor who has been slated to help me with the
extra work for Release Y and Z. Since the last two releases piggy-back
closely together, and Release Y is three times the usual amount of work,
I'll need help.

My questions are:

How should we divide up work? The online help and admin guide are both
generated by RoboHelp. The admin guide is created using Word. I am unsure
how much experience the HF consultant has with RoboHelp. My thought is to
give her the release doc to do, since it's in Word and self-contained.
Alternatively, we could both work in RoboHelp and divide the work, but we
would need an extra license.

If we choose to divide up the RoboHelp work, how do we manage this. Should
only one person be in the RoboHelp files at a time, although we would both
have licenses? Not sure how to handle two writers working on the same

How should I get the help done for Releases Y and Z, which are six weeks
apart? How do I work on help for Release Z while I'm finishing up Release
Y and still keep them separate? I'm really stumped on this one. The help
system is huge, with 1200 pages.

Any other tips for managing this project? I've been asked to come up with
a documentation plan or methodology for deploying the documentation for
these releases successfully.

Beth Smith



RoboHelp X5 is a giant leap forward in Help authoring technology, featuring all new Word 2003 support, Content Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more! View an online demo:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Outsourcing Tech Pubs
Next by Author: RE: Opinions requested regarding new web utility
Previous by Thread: Re: Usability study? (Take II)
Next by Thread: Re: Posted Pay Ranges & Government Jobs

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads