Re: Repeating instructions

Subject: Re: Repeating instructions
From: Jane Bergen <janeber -at- CYBERRAMP -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 23:08:21 -0500

I've had this situation occur several times with telephony switches. I
vote for option 4, if it says what I think it says.....I generally try
to break down the procedures into small units. Within each unit,
discuss the differences if they exist. Otherwise the steps are pretty
straightforward. For example,

Installing the Program files (no difference in A and B systems)

1. Do ........
2. Do ........
3. Do ........

Configuring the xyz driver (where differences exist)

1. Do ......
2. (System A) Do ..........
(System B) Do .........
3. Do ..........

It makes the entire procedure more continuous and consistent. Another
tack I've taken where the differences were significant: use a
two-column table with a side-by-side set of instructions. Of course,
this is most helpful where your users are doing multiple installations
and need to use both sets of procedures.

Hope that helps a little.

Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
Dallas, Texas
janeber -at- cyberramp -dot- net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues
> [mailto:TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU]On Behalf Of Philip Sharman
> Sent: Thursday, September 24, 1998 4:19 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Repeating instructions
> I'm writing a set of procedures to tell an installer how to
> set up some
> equipment, which consists of two systems. 95% of the steps
> for the two
> systems are identical, but there are some differences.
> Should I...
> 1) Give both sets of procedures in full.
> 2) Give the first set of procedures in full. Then say, "Do
> the second
> setup like the first with these changes ..."
> 3) Give both sets of procedures in full, but flag somehow
> the items that
> differ.
> 4) Combine them both into one set of procedures and every
> so often say,
> "For System A, do this. For System B, do that."

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