Re: Documentation plan?

Subject: Re: Documentation plan?
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1993 17:07:30 -0500

> What is a documentation plan? (I've been looking at job ads,
> and some of them require the ability to make one of these.)

> Karen Kay
> karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

When you write on a project, you do it from a plan. Everybody takes a
shot at it before you start writing, so you don't leave out stuff you
should include or include stuff you should leave out.

Doc plans vary from place to place, but most of them I've seen include
some standard information, like

- the name of the book
- the audience, purpose and scope of the book
- the approach (standard reference, usage, tutorial, examples,
- implementation details; typographical style, document design,
how many pages, how many figures, how many screens, online or
not, code in the book, how many reviews, color or b&w, tools and
equipement and software resources required, etc.
- project team; manager, writers, reviewers, editors, and so on,
who's who, who is responsible for what
- proposed content outline (sometimes wi/ page count, people
- schedule; all milestones with dates
- time or money budget; time and materials; etc.

What a particular outfit wants depends on how it operates, but these are
the essentials. There's a knack to coming up with good estimates for a
plan; experience counts, but you can wing it. If you work as a
contractor, though, you better be close.

Hope this helps. What all do other list members put in their plans? I'd
be interested, too...

|Len Olszewski, Technical Writer | "Hardcopy is the ultimate backup!" |
|saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com|Cary, NC, USA| -John Sanders |
| Opinions this ludicrous are mine. Reasonable opinions will cost you.|

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