Phases and Working Methodology
The development of content for manuals and help system typically goes through these phases:
• Establishing Agreements and Goals
• Engineering and Testing
• Delivering Presentable Product (beta)
• Final evaluation
During this phase the writer and customer will discuss the scope of the project, the set up, the detail level, the layout of the various types of output, and consider any other unique requirements.
A estimate for the time necessary to complete the project is determined on an hourly or fixed-price by basis.
Establishing Agreements and Goals
PenMan Communications develops the Statement of Work based on the Analysis phase. Once the parties have agreed on the services and costs, the SOW is signed and work begins.
In the input phase the client and SMEs provide the technical writer with input on the operation of product or service. The transfer of knowledge can take place with personal interviews (with or without recording equipment), the use of existing documentation such as system design documents, release notes, training materials and any other available information.
On the basis of the input received, the technical writer will develop the content.
When the writer has finished a concept, it will be handed over to the SME for initial review and confirm the flow and accuracy of the material. The comments are used to update the material.