Technical Challenge: Defining Documentation Deliverables for a Project Team

Background
The knowledge management team produces up to 18 information deliverables for each software release. These can include such things as terminology, system texts, messages, implementation information, help portal content, and guides for installation, security and operations. To ensure knowledge management projects run smoothly, project leads are responsible for planning and monitoring authoring and translating activities on a project. 

The Challenge
Large projects typically have development teams and knowledge management teams in different locations. Because of this it can be difficult to gather the detailed information required for the plan. Even if teams are in one location, the details required for a large information development project can be hard to track and quantify.

How do you ensure the initial time investment required to create an information development plan ultimately pays off and makes planning easier and more standard?

The Solution
We defined our project requirements and developed a documentation specification. The documentation specification contained the knowledge management details of the project and set the expectiations for our delivery, the details on each of our knowledge deliverables and the areas for which the knowledge team was responsible.

Here is a link to the documentation specification I developed for SAP Demand Management Foundation (SAP DMF 1.1). Why was the documentation specification so important? Within this project team:
  • The project managers were in Scottsdale, Arizona
  • The developers were in Scottsdale, Arizona; Bangalore, India; Montreal, Canada; and Walldorf, Germany
  • The authors were in Montreal, Canada; Lexington, North Carolina and Chicago, Illinois
  • The translators were in Galway, Ireland and Walldorf, Germany

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