Managing Help Files

Subject: Managing Help Files
From: Susan Brown <sbrown -at- JSCSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 11:30:40 -0500

Hi, Hi!!

I need the benefit of other people's experiences.

I am currently working on a Help system for a very complex piece of
software.

There have been two basic problems in the production schedule:
first, I was given roughly one tenth of the time the project actually would
require (given its scope), and secondly, my project leader keeps changing my
priorities (one week it is to get a small section of it stable so it can be
passed over to another team member for translation into French, the next
week it is have an interim version we can release to the user population by
the end of the week, and so on). I won't even get into the fact that there
is no-one available to proofread the contents for technical accuracy, answer
questions, etc. etc. I have also not been able to get any help in testing
the various stages of the system for simple things like jumps that work.

This constant to-ing and fro-ing is creating an organizational
nightmare. I will be in the middle of setting up the browse sequences, or
key words on one module when I am ordered to drop that and make something
more up to date that 'will do' for almost immediate release. I will be
proofing instructions against the current version of the software, when I am
informed that the new version will have entirely different menus, or that
the base modules of the system have changed. (and so on, and so on ..........)

I am finding myself having to go over the same ground over and over
again as I'm am ordered to switch from one task to another, willy-nilly. I
also find myself loosing track of where I am.

Please help.

Susan Brown
JSC Systems Corp.

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you
come to the end: then stop."
- Lewis Carroll

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