Re: Documentation and CMM?

Subject: Re: Documentation and CMM?
From: "Mohr, Robert" <mohrr -at- MSX -dot- UPMC -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 08:48:16 -0500


I did CMM documentation for a company in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago.
But rather than create lots of separate Word documents for each procedure, I
developed a database (using Access) in which I wrote all of the procedures.

With a database, I could easily assign status types (e.g., approved, void,
pilot phase, etc.), maintain version control, and take advantage of "static"
lookup information: authors, approvers, applicable CMM level, applicable CMM
KPA, etc.

The database is capable of producing a hard copy report for each procedure
as well as an HTML file for each--all at the click of the mouse. The HTML
files were placed on the corporate intranet so that all employees had access
to them.

If you would like more information, send a reply to me at
mohrr -at- msx -dot- upmc -dot- edu -dot-


-----Original Message-----
From: Maaike Groenewege [mailto:mgr -at- MEDIASYS -dot- NL]
Sent: Friday, February 19, 1999 3:46 AM
Subject: Documentation and CMM?

Hi all,

Judging from your posts to this list, I should consider myself one of the
more lucky techwriters around: I have a real office with real windows, doors
and a real fellow tech writer, two computers (one for writing my docs, and
one to access the software application I'm documenting), I am invited to
take part in relevant meetings, and, overall, documentation is taken very
seriously. (In case of job openings, I'll make sure to post them to you
first! *s*)

Recently, my company has started implementing the Capability Maturity Model
in its organisation. This basically means that no action that is taken
should go unaccounted, unplanned or unexplained. The ultimate goal of the
model is to reach a professional organisation which uses mature processes.
The web abounds with information about CMM, so I won't say too much about
its details here.

My manager has suggested that documentation somehow should be fit into this
model too, so that the well known "It's three weeks before the final release
date, and oh yeah, we should have some documentation" issue can be avoided.
Although many people within the company have already advised me on how to do
this, I'd like to hear your opinions too.

Does anybody here have any experience with setting up formal documentation
procedures? Do you have any suggestions on where to start? What difficulties
have you encountered? What benefits did it bring? Did you have trouble
convincing other people in your company about the benefits?


Maaike Groenewege
Tech Writer
Mediasystemen b.v., a Triple P company
The Netherlands

mgr -at- mediasys -dot- nl

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