RE: Documentation there really such a creature?

Subject: RE: Documentation there really such a creature?
From: "Jim Morgan" <JimM -at- sakson -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 14:18:58 -0700

Well, I'm not really the expert, and of course, can't give away IP,

In general, I don't think it's much different from the process anyone on
the list uses when they start a new large document. In previous
companies/positions, some of my typical steps were:

1) Ask who the audience is and what actions they are expected to take as
a result of reading the content (and/or what the customer wants the
audience to know).
2) Determine the best delivery method.
3) Review existing documentation.
4) Review examples of similar docs (usually the client has seen
something that triggered or informed their idea).
5) Interview the SMEs to create an outline.
6) For procedures, ask how long it takes them to perform each procedure
(from which I can estimate page counts).
7) Go through review-and-revision cycles to fill in details.
8) Estimate the time required for each topic.

No doubt many others on the list know more about this than I do. Other
steps, anyone?


-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Markos [mailto:ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 2:05 PM
To: Jim Morgan; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Documentation there really such a creature?


Can you give any insight as to the steps they take in creating their


Tony Markos

--- Jim Morgan <JimM -at- sakson -dot- com> wrote:

> In our company, there is such a role, although that role now is
> usually filled by our most experienced technical writers.
> The architect is only
> asked to create a detailed outline; specify the audience, voice,
> goals, etc.; and estimate the hours required to complete the document.

> This is especially useful for a large document that is significantly
> different from anything the client has done before.
> Regards,
> Jim

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