Documentation and CMM? Part 1 (Long)

Subject: Documentation and CMM? Part 1 (Long)
From: Sean Wheller <Sean -at- MAIL -dot- MEDIAONEIT -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 15:00:16 +0200

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Hello Maaike and the rest of the list,

In answer to your request for experience in setting up formal
documentation procedures, I hope the following will be of help.
The solutions and methods that I am suggesting are from real world
experiences and not just torn from the text book.

Much of my solution relies on already implemented organizational
infrastructures such as MRP/ERP systems, ECOs and departmental
management. Most engineering departments within medium to large
companies are already using MRP/ERP systems to perform a wide variety
management functions for development and production. I am usually
interested in the production aspect. My focus is to include
documentation as an item in the Bill Of Materials (BOM) for each
product. Experience shows me that engineering has little problem
accepting that documents are part of the product.

My documentation is built in modules. The simple way of seeing things is
1 part = 1 part number.
When documenting hardware this is of great benefit. For example:

Allot of systems are comprised of 19" rack cages that contain modules.
The array of modules included in a cage determines the services
supported by the product. This means that part of my documentation is a
common delta, rarely needing changes. It also means that new modules are
being developed as we work. With each book being equal to a part number
I only work on those part numbers that require updating or new part
numbers. Naturally as new documents become available they are added to
the collective set of documents (BOM). Sometimes they replace existing
or older documents. The end result is that each document is made of it's
own BOM. The BOM changes as the product changes.

This method has the following advantages:
* Reduces upgrade times.
* Reduces production costs.
* Reduces the amount of information you have to handle.
* Writers can focus on the requirements of a specific module and
not have to worry about the rest.
* More that one writer can be assigned to the project. Each Part
Number is a separate file that can be accessed and updated
independently.
* Engineers have less to check, saving them allot of time.
* ... and more.

The draw back is that the documentation manager has a lot of small
subset documents to worry about. I always wondered what I could give the
manager to do.


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<P><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Hello Maaike and the rest of the =
list,</FONT>
<BR>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">In answer to your request for =
experience in setting up formal documentation procedures, I hope the =
following will be of help.</FONT></P>
<P><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">The solutions and methods that I am =
suggesting are from real world experiences and not just torn from the =
text book.</FONT>
<BR>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Much of my solution relies on already =
implemented organizational infrastructures such as MRP/ERP systems, =
ECOs and departmental management. Most engineering departments within =
medium to large companies are already using MRP/ERP systems to perform =
a wide variety management functions for development and production. I =
am usually interested in the production aspect. My focus is to include =
documentation as an item in the Bill Of Materials (BOM) for each =
product. Experience shows me that engineering has little problem =
accepting that documents are part of the product.</FONT></P>
<BR>
<P><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">My documentation is built in modules. =
The simple way of seeing things is 1 part =3D 1 part number.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">When documenting hardware this is of =
great benefit. For example:</FONT>
<BR>
<BR><I><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Allot of systems are comprised of =
19" rack cages that contain modules. The array of modules included in a =
cage determines the services supported by the product. This means that =
part of my documentation is a common delta, rarely needing changes. It =
also means that new modules are being developed as we work. With each =
book being equal to a part number I only work on those part numbers =
that require updating or new part numbers. Naturally as new documents =
become available they are added to the collective set of documents =
(BOM). Sometimes they replace existing or older documents. The end =
result is that each document is made of it's own BOM. The BOM changes =
as the product changes.</FONT></I></P>
<BR>
<P><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">This method has the following =
advantages:</FONT>

<UL><LI><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Reduces upgrade =
times.</FONT></LI>
<LI><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Reduces production costs.</FONT></LI>
<LI><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Reduces the amount of information you =
have to handle.</FONT></LI>
<LI><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Writers can focus on the requirements =
of a specific module and not have to worry about the rest.</FONT></LI>
<LI><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">More that one writer can be assigned =
to the project. Each Part Number is a separate file that can be =
accessed and updated independently.</FONT></LI>
<LI><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">Engineers have less to check, saving =
them allot of time.</FONT></LI>
<LI><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">... and more.</FONT></LI>
</UL><P>&nbsp;
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Arial">The draw back is that the =
documentation manager has a lot of small subset documents to worry =
about. I always wondered what I could give the manager to =
do.</FONT></P>
<BR>

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