Designing Company Documentation Standards

Subject: Designing Company Documentation Standards
From: DIGEST Bruce Byfield <byfield -at- DIRECT -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 15:27:05 +0800

Here's the situation: a company has been doubling in size every few
months for the last three years. It needs documentation for hardware, software and
training. However, it has almost none, and what little it has consists of last
minute efforts done by secretaries working over-time without any idea of layout. So,
there's a lot of old work to be done from scratch or revised. But the company is
also launching several new products and services, so there's a lot of new work to be
done, too. Some of the documentation is internal, some external.
Can anybody suggest some useful references to help a writer pitched into the
middle of these circumstances? Obviously, a few documentation standards have to be
set. But what else? What hints are available about how to assess the situation and
prioritize? What would make the situation? What are the obvious pitfalls to avoid?
Is there a book or two which might help?
And to those who have personally experienced a similar situation, let me
ask: what advice would you give? Looking back, what should you have done, and
what shouldn't you have done?

Bruce Byfield (byfield -at- direct -dot- ca)
Burnaby, B. C., Canada (604) 421-7189
Technical Documentation, Demos & Instruction

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