Question re: managing document changes as software changes occur

Subject: Question re: managing document changes as software changes occur
From: "Laura Johnson" <lcjohnson -at- cfsloans -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:19:07 -0400

Hello all,

I've been a lurker on this list for a while. I've been a tech writer for
over 10 years now but my current position is the first where I'll be
doing SDLC-related documentation. I'm used to doing end-user docs,
online help, etc.

Anyway, I've been tasked with coming up with a process that makes sure
that changes made to the software design are reflected in the technical
documentation. Meaning, we'll be having a Requirements doc, a
Specifications doc, etc., but, as the software design process moves
along, change requests come through and the software is changed....but
the documentation rarely is.

What we're dealing with here is an application that is now 2 years old
and there are literally several thousand change requests that have been
implemented...but the documentation never reflected those changes. So
when you look at the original documentation, it's almost completely
different from the current version of the software. The original
documentation is pretty much useless.

Luckily for me, they don't want me to sort through all those change
requests - but we're starting to develop a new application so they want
me to put something in place so things don't get out of control again.

As background - I'm the lone tech writer here and they'll go with
whatever I recommend...but I need guidance.

Thanks for whatever help you can provide.

Laura Charles Johnson

Technical Writer, User Experience Team

Chase Education Finance

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