Documentation Questionnaire

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This presentation lists some of the important questions that a tech writer should ask to the stakeholders during the course of a documentation project.

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Documentation Questionnaire

  1. 1. Gautam Soman Documentation Questionnaire
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Every documentation project starts with information gathering. </li></ul><ul><li>Since interviewing the subject matter experts is the main source of information, it is imperative that a tech writer asks the right questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some questions that one can ask, irrespective of the type of application, domain or the project to be documented. </li></ul><ul><li>Note that these questions discussed here are representative and by no means exhaustive. </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  3. 3. Questions for Project Manager <ul><li>The first person you are likely to meet from the team is its project manager. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some of the important questions you need to ask the project manager. </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  4. 4. Questions for Project Manager <ul><li>Product name </li></ul><ul><li>Release date and documentation deadline </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation suite </li></ul><ul><li>Deliverable format </li></ul><ul><li>Scope of work </li></ul><ul><li>Point of Contact and Communication Channels </li></ul><ul><li>Version control tool </li></ul><ul><li>Reference documents </li></ul><ul><li>Access to servers, Mailing list, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Client communication </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  5. 5. Questions for Team Lead <ul><li>In large projects, the project manager is likely to delegate the task of documentation communication to either the technical lead or the QA lead. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some of the important details you need to get from these people. </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  6. 6. Questions for Team Lead <ul><li>Application overview </li></ul><ul><li>System Overview/Process flow </li></ul><ul><li>System configuration (minimum and recommended) </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies involved </li></ul><ul><li>Access to bug-tracker and change requests </li></ul><ul><li>Names of modules and respective SMEs </li></ul><ul><li>Time slots and communication channels for discussions </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  7. 7. Questions for Developers and QA <ul><li>As the documentation proceeds, you will be interacting with the individual members of the team: programmers and quality analysts. </li></ul><ul><li>Apart from the questions specific to the application, here are some general queries that you can ask. </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  8. 8. Questions for Developers and QA <ul><li>The 4 W s + 1 H : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process workflow </li></ul><ul><li>System limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of bug fixes/change requests </li></ul><ul><li>Troubleshooting tips /Tips and tricks </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  9. 9. Questions for Client <ul><li>It’s always a good idea for a tech writer to be directly interacting with the customer: it relives the project manager of undue communication, and resolves many misunderstandings. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some questions best answered by the customer. </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  10. 10. Questions for Client <ul><li>Documentation suite </li></ul><ul><li>Format of end-deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Document structure and templates </li></ul><ul><li>Scope of work </li></ul><ul><li>Target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Point of contact and Communication channel </li></ul><ul><li>US-English/UK English </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com
  11. 11. Thank you! <ul><li>This presentation is based on a blog-post written by Gautam Soman. </li></ul><ul><li>You can read the complete article at ByteSpace </li></ul><ul><li>Gautam Soman, </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.gautamsoman.com </li></ul>© bytespace.blogspot.com

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