Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently asked questions (FAQs) are designed to provide you with a better understanding of InfoPros’ expertise, experience and proven methodology.  For more information, please use our contact form, email information@InfoPros.com or call us at 888.235.3231 and we will respond within one business day.

When should I engage InfoPros?

Can I see samples?

Do you subcontract out the work?

In what industries does InfoPros have experience?

Do you have the background in the industry or area of expertise required for my project?

Is there a project minimum?

How is the process managed?

What is the lead time to initiate a project?

How long does the typical project take to complete?

What type of information do you need from me to get started?

Can your work be done remotely or off-site?

What are the best development tools to use?

Can I edit the documents later? Can InfoPros maintain the documents?

What if my documents are confidential or proprietary?

How does your pricing work?

What if I have changes during the course of the project?

Do you provide translation services?

Do you offer printing services?

Who is InfoPros?

How long has InfoPros been in business?

Can you push the content you create out to any mobile platform?

 

When should I engage InfoPros? The best time to engage InfoPros is when you are in the midst of change, launching a new product, taking on an employee training initiative or beginning any project that requires supporting technical documentation.  InfoPros can be effective at any stage of a project; however, the best results are achieved when we partner with you early in the planning process.  We have the experience and knowledge to help you learn what questions to ask and how to establish a plan and budget, giving you the confidence to know you can get it done. Early on, we can discuss and provide guidance with respect to your source material and the amount of involvement required from your subject matter experts (e.g., your engineers or product managers), and give you an outline of the project schedule.

Can I see samples? Once you contact our office, we will hand-pick samples of our previous work that relates to your industry, company or specific needs.  To get samples that match your request, give us a call at 888.235.3231, email us at information@InfoPros.com or use our Contact Us form.

Do you subcontract out the work? InfoPros core team of employees perform writing, technical illustration, instructional design and project management.  We consider this in-house business structure part of the InfoPros Advantage.  We do bring in proven partners if a specific skill or capability is required.  For example, we will use a programmer to do the programming for a Learning Management System.  Likewise, we have partners for language translation, printing and other related services.

In which industries does InfoPros have experience? The quick answer is many.  In the Clients section of our website you can view a list of companies for whom we have worked, in a variety of consumer, industrial, high-tech, medical and services industries.  Because you will work with our experienced employees, versus contractors, you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise we have gleaned by working on previous projects and software applications.

Do you have the background in the industry or area of expertise required for my project? We have extensive experience covering subjects from consumer products such as cell phones and bathroom fixtures, and industrial products such as pumps and power distribution, to software applications and medical and life sciences products.  While we may not have worked on every specific type of product, service or process, there are few categories for which we have no relevant experience.  We will work to ensure that those assigned to your team have experience with technologies and concepts that are relevant to your specific needs.

Is there a project minimum? Our project minimum typically is $15,000, though ongoing tasks such as updates and maintenance of technical content can be significantly smaller.

How is the process managed? InfoPros assigns a project manager who has overall responsibility for your project and is your primary point of contact.  Our project managers are senior employees, not working managers who are busy writing, developing courseware, etc.  Your project manager begins by assigning your InfoPros team and preparing for the kickoff meeting, during which we cover in detail the expectations for your project.  Then she/he develops a project schedule.  Your project manager is responsible for keeping your project on schedule and within budget, providing weekly status reports and ensuring all issues are addressed.  We know that issues can and do come up during a project’s life cycle.  It is the role of your InfoPros project manager to ensure that these issues are never a surprise to you.  InfoPros supports the project manager with processes and tools to track — in real-time — each project deliverable, so you always know where your project stands with respect to budget and delivery dates.

What is the lead time to initiate a project?  How long does the typical project take to complete? In most cases, we can begin a project within several business days upon receipt of the services agreement and a purchase order, or equivalent authorization. Project length varies.  In some cases, if a client needs something done quickly, we pull in extra resources and can turn it around in less than a week.  With other projects, adding resources is not a viable option as there are numerous steps that must be done sequentially, so more time is required.  Your project manager will assure that all milestones and deadlines are met.

What type of information do you need from me to get started? There are two major steps.  The first is focused on defining your specific needs and requirements and developing a project scope.  This allows us to make recommendations on deliverables and authoring tools and to develop a timeline and price for the project. The second involves the project kickoff.  It typically takes only a couple of business days for us to assign the right resources to your project, provided the necessary source material and subject matter experts are available from your organization, including access to software applications or source material (e.g., engineering documents).

Can your work be done remotely or off-site? Yes.  Approximately 70% of our work is done off-site at an InfoPros facility, even for clients that are close to one of our offices.  This allows us to leverage the tools and talent at each of our offices while allowing you to focus on your core activities.  When being onsite at a client’s facility is key to gathering the right knowledge/source material, we make it happen.

What are the best development tools to use? There is no “best tool” for authoring product documentation, developing courseware for a specific training need or building Online Help.  It all depends on your specific needs. For example, Microsoft Word, the corporate standard, can be a good choice if you are going to have non-technical writers maintain the documents, with some caveats: if the document approaches 100 pages in length, has a complex template, uses a lot of linked text or makes extensive use of graphics or illustrations, Word quickly becomes inefficient; documents can become corrupt and require significant effort to maintain. If the document being developed is shorter in nature and design-intensive, Adobe InDesign is probably a better choice; however, InDesign can be intimidating for new users, requires some setup at the onset of the project and is more costly than Word.  Adobe FrameMaker is an industrial-strength tool that can handle most any size or type of document, up to several thousand pages.  The major drawbacks are that it is not considered an intuitive or user-friendly tool and is more expensive than Word and InDesign. There are also products that are used in conjunction with XML and other, more advanced technologies (e.g., DITA).  We have worked with all of the widely used applications.  The same holds true for developing courseware, job aids and Online Help; there are a number of tools, and we will work with you to identify which makes the most sense for your specific needs.  We have worked with most mainstream tools and know the pros and cons of various approaches.  We do not resell or promote any particular software.

Can I edit the documents later?  Can InfoPros maintain the documents? Yes. For some of our clients, we develop the initial documentation or training material, and they assign maintenance of that content to someone internal to their company.  Other companies outsource everything to InfoPros so that we maintain the source files and coordinate language translations, printing, shipping and other tasks.  Some companies handle minor updates themselves but bring us in for major updates (e.g., a new software release versus a dot release).

What if my documents are confidential or proprietary? We often work with companies that entrust us with confidential information, typically under a non-disclosure agreement.  Examples are yet-to-be released products, proprietary processes and software.  Our staff knows that a key part of developing long-term relationships with our clients is that each client’s work is treated as proprietary.  We set up separate, secure workspaces for each client, and we require that all client data be stored on our secure servers.  We also can ensure that all work products, such as documents, files and digital images, are destroyed or returned to the client upon project completion.

How does your pricing work? Normally we provide our clients a fixed-price quote.  This quote is based on a statement of work that we develop with you, discussing specific requirements and reviewing applications or existing source material.  We can offer fixed prices in most cases because we have completed thousands of projects and have metrics that allow us, in the majority of cases, to accurately estimate the effort associated with a defined statement of work. When a certain amount of information is unknown such that it precludes developing a detailed project scope, we provide a price range that is reviewed at some defined milestone – typically no more than 20% into the project – so that we can tighten up the scope, make any necessary pricing adjustments and provide a fixed price.  Finally, if it makes sense to work on a time and materials basis, we do.

What if I have changes during the course of the project? Change is a part of most projects.  Examples are additional topics being identified for an Online Help system or the page count or slides/screens for a training curriculum being adjusted up or down.  We anticipate some amount of scope change when we provide your project schedule and price so that not every scope change results in a schedule or budget change.  Major changes to the scope or many small scope changes can impact the delivery schedule and budget.  Your InfoPros project manager will identify the impact of the proposed scope change with respect to the project schedule and budget and will get your approval before authorizing any changes.

Do you provide translation services? Yes, we provide language translation services for all types of documentation, Online Help and training materials, to include voice-overs for online training.  We have considerable experience developing content in a way that minimizes translation costs, and we work closely with a partner that does the actual language translation.  We handle all coordination and ensure that the process is transparent to you.

Do you offer printing services? Similar to language translation, we can coordinate your printing needs.  We work with several trusted partners, or we can work with your current printer to ensure that your documents are printed properly.

Who is InfoPros?  How long has InfoPros been in business? Please read more about us here – but the short answer is, we have been in business since 1994.

Can you push the content you create to any mobile platform? Yes, InfoPros can adapt your content to match whatever mobile platform you prefer.  We’ve worked with all types of media including website content, animated gifs, videos, eLearning products and more.

Contact us today, and learn more about the InfoPros Advantage.