Why is it important to reorganize the help files

Subject: Why is it important to reorganize the help files
From: Zen C <zenizenc -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 18:19:55 -0700 (PDT)

Hi All,

The company I work for has a software with 5 modules and some functions can be done in 3 different ways using different modules. I am taking over the help files and have been asked to clean the mess, but need to give valid reasons for my suggestions.

They currently have Training Manuals for each training session in PDF format, which has a lot of information repeated. Each of these training sessions cover about 2 modules at a time.

Then each module is organized as a help file (created in RoboHelp) and can be viewed as PDF files. Information in these modules are all repeated including explanations of controls ( e.g what a dialog box is) everywhere in the document.

I suggested reorganizing the document in such way that conventions, assumptions are explained followed by a Getting Started Chapter that will explain controls of each module (Window). I thought this would avoid having to explain what each control is when explaining the procedure and duplicating information.
The following chapters will describe the functions of each module (e.g. How to..)

I was asked how what I was suggesting different from what they have and I got stuck cos I was not prepared for that question. The suggestions are going to be discussed further and I want to have answers for the question.

Can anyone please give some good points I can give as reasons for the change.


p/s I know the software has to be changed before the documents, which is not feasible at this point. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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