Documentation Manager for new software company (was documentation section in business plan)

Subject: Documentation Manager for new software company (was documentation section in business plan)
From: "Cheryl L. Higgins" <cwhitnah -at- NETMEG -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 06:23:23 -0500


I am posting this to the group, if anyone else wants to read and has any
suggestions or comments, they are appreciated...

I personnally attribute your company's meeting these goals as a tribute to
the available documentation!

Amazing though it may sound, we actually meet quarterly and report on
>accomplishments, failures and recommended changes to the business plan.
>employees have input into the plan, and all have access to it once senior
>management approves it.

As a new (as of Monday, this week!) Project Manager and house document
manager and sole writer for a burgeoning software company (2 locations,
about 15 to 25 emloyees) I would love to ask you a few questions - without
onsite compatriots, (yet) I want to set up structure and procedures and
policies for our product documentation, online website help and newsletter
and also a company policy manual. Seems like there is so much to do, and
how to do it all in eight hours - I began on Monday, and for the next
several weeks will be s punching out a user's manual for one of the modules
of the main software line (database management for large Medicare insurers).
The software documentation includes training sessions for new clients as
well as user manuals for on-going tech support and client administrative
manuals for software maintenance. So far, I am hearing the clients and
techs phone calls covering basic "where do I find the "setup" window and
"what does 'code' mean and what do I code?" I have been assigned to
re-write the current manual - a 8 x 11 inhouse document in a 3-ring binder
created on "Doc to Help" for Word 97 - "ASAP" (originally written by the
programmers) and I am simply trying to clarify the text with more straight
forward references and descriptions and conventionalize terms and usage. I
will have to develop a glossary. Meanwhile, I am learning the software,
myself as I go. I will have to learn the Oracle SQL code and several other
of the programs used to develope the software, as well as Doc 2 Help, since
I haven't used it before, but it seems pretty straightforward and Word is an
adequate documenation tool, for me. Ideally, I would like to take my time
to write this right! I'll do a pretty good job on it, and I am learning by
ear the general needs of the clients overhearing their tech calls. I want
to gather user feed back, etc. Managing this could be a full time job,
never mind the writing!

Do you have any recommendations for documentation software? Publisher? Doc
2 help? word? Other? Do you know if Quark is ONLY mac? I see them using
Quark and Photoshop for something...

Do you have any recommendations of technical writing and documentation
manuals for me?

Any comments or suggestions would be loved and savored!

Cheryl L. Higgins
Project Manager and Documentation manager,
Continuum Performance Systems, Inc.
cwhitnah -at- netmeg -dot- net

----- Original Message -----
From: Connie Giordano <CPGLJG -at- AOL -dot- COM>
To: <TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 1999 5:42 AM
Subject: Re: Documentation section in business plan

>My company is also about 20 years old, but has produced business plans
>year, and kudos to the founders, documentation is always included.


From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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