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InfoPros Project Management

10 Tips for Success: Project Management for Technical Documentation

1. Define the objectives

Understand the business goals of the project, including the market context of the product or service being documented, and the role of the documentation in the success of the business enterprise. Detail costs, deliverables, and deadlines within the business context.

2. Define the scope

Make sure everyone understands what you are NOT going to do. Monitor constantly for scope creep. Ask your team to keep you informed if the scope of the project changes. Be prepared to defend requests for more resources and schedule changes to adjust to scope changes.

3. Identify the audiences

Understand the different audiences and their needs. Define their background understanding, their reading level, their familiarity with domain vocabulary, and the context in which they will use the documentation products.

4. Identify the purpose of the documentation

Will it be used as an occasional reference source, for daily task execution, for installation instructions, or for troubleshooting? Is it a combination training and reference document? How exactly will the audience access and use the documentation products?

5. Assign tasks and identify dependencies

Limit dependencies from sources outside your control to keep projects on track.

6. Assign roles and responsibilities

Communicate clearly and get confirmation from all participants that they understand and accept their roles.

7. Communicate regularly with all team members

Provide regular project updates, and visibility into progress. If problems arise, make sure you keep management well informed about them and how they are being handled.

8. Include reviewers in the planning stage

Define and communicate the role of reviewers. For example, will they validate technical content, approve format, or proofread? Make sure reviewers know their place in the schedule and can commit. For efficiency, schedule face‐to‐face reviews (conference calls are fine).

9. Expect the best, but plan for the worst

Keep the phrase “the best laid plans…” in mind. Identify specific risks and develop contingency plans for each one.

10. Conduct end of project evaluations

Identify what you did well that you want to continue doing, what to avoid in the future, and what to do better.

About InfoPros

Since 1994, InfoPros has proven its documentation and training expertise with a commitment to best‐in‐class services and Client‐centered solutions. Experienced using DITA/XML, we specialize in delivering a blend of services for documenting products and processes, training development, and translation and localization.

Whether you need a complete training program to augment a new product or service, or you require job aids for internal learning, InfoPros has the experience and skills to deliver the results you are looking for. By combining a client-centric focus with our structured three-step approach, we are able to design a customized solution that will fit your business.