Re: Documentation and CMM?

Subject: Re: Documentation and CMM?
From: Beth Agnew <BAgnew -at- INSYSTEMS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 08:07:06 -0500

The easiest way we've found to ensure documentation is integrated into the
development effort is to follow the same product life cycle model used by
our developers. From the beginning, when requirements are submitted to
development for work estimates, documentation is part of that work -- as is
QA testing, customer support, training, and product distribution. We call it
an Integrated Development Effort (or IDE for those of you who like TLAs).

Development of documentation parallels the development of the software:
1. Requirements are provided for the documentation
2. We write specifications for the docs, and include them in a documentation
plan.
3. Documentation tasks are outlined and appear in the project plan for each
product.
4. As the software goes through iterations, we iterate the documentation as
well. An I1 or I2 version of software (prototype) will have an accompanying
"manual", even if it is cursory and restricted to only the functionality
that is present in the prototype.
5. As iterations progress, the documentation keeps pace. When the product is
reviewed, the documentation goes through its own review.
6. By the time the software is dropped to QA for testing, the testers have a
manual that they can test as well. We get great feedback! And of course,
we've done our OWN testing on the manual before this.

Such an integrated development effort makes sure every department of the
company is focused on doing what is necessary to develop and launch that
product, and there are no "surprises". Even customer support and training
have been involved so that they can begin to support and train users from
day one.

If you want any more details, e-mail me.

-- Beth

Beth Agnew
Manager, Information Development

InSystems Technologies Inc.
65 Allstate Parkway, Suite 100 Tel: (905) 513-1400 ext. 280
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 9X1 Fax: (905) 513-1419
mailto:bagnew -at- insystems -dot- com Visit us at: http://www.insystems.com

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