Manuals for Software projects….

There are a few standard ways to create manuals for software projects, some of them are:

  • Using Microsoft word manual template
  • Buying readymade templates from various providers
  • Designing your own format

Most of the companies prefer to design their own format as it is not difficult to design and there are many tools available to make the task easier.

While designing the manual following requirements should also be considered:

  • Converting the manual, without extra efforts, to various help formats like:
    • CHM
    • Application level help including field level help
    • WinHelp
    • WebHelp
    • PDF format for online publishing / distributing to clients
  • It should be easily manageable for:
    • Future software upgrades
    • Customization for individual clients

From a clients perspective, manuals / help files should have space for accommodating the internal operational procedures, this makes the manual / help files a very powerful implementation tool. This requirement can be achieved by developing a user defined help system in your application where in each client can put up the customized procedures to be referred to during application execution or as part of training procedures for new staff.

The newer concept is to develop training movies instead of writing detailed manuals, movies quickly explaining the application features and using instructions, although it is rapidly becoming popular, there are still some project managers who prefer written manuals to training movies.

There are number of good applications available in the market, but there are a very few applications with good documentation.

I have come across quiet a few companies who decide the quality of an application by their documentation.

Some of the good tools which can help you out are:

March 19, 2007 · Rahul Desai · No Comments
Posted in: Project Management, Software Engineering, Tools, Tips & Utilities

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