Managing development documentation

Subject: Managing development documentation
From: "Collier,Michael" <Michael -dot- Collier -at- CNALIFE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 12:37:47 -0600

A set of insurance applications is under development here, with development
in the early requirements and modeling phases. The project is divided into
twelve business domains, with each domain consisting of individual projects
documented with project descriptions, functional decompositions, use cases
and scenarios.

Documentation at this stage is primarily development driven, and I'm
wondering how to best take advantage of the development process to produce
effective user documentation and online help later on down the line.
Currently, there are four writers working on the project, and each is
gathering the individual "artifacts" listed above to produce a requirements
document for three domains.

There is no overall functional specification at this point--we will be
extracting functions to be documented from the requirements documents. Each
writer will be responsible for extracting user functions from the domain he
or she is collecting the requirements for, and maintaining a list of them
and checking with the development team for updates and changes.

Any comments on this approach for gathering information for (eventual) use
in user documentation and help? I'd like to hear experiences from others who
are working or have worked on projects in the early stages of development,
and how they have used requirements and other development docs in producing
user documentation and help. Any experiences, caveats, other things I should
be considering are appreciated.


Michael Collier
mailto:mcollier -at- cnalife -dot- com

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