Choosing a Tool – Defining the Goals (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1: Choosing a Tool

For many years, I have worked with hi-tech companies, creating their documentation and/or online help using a variety of industry-standard tools. In recent weeks, two companies have asked me to help evaluate their current and expected future needs to
blogpostAdetermine the best tool for them.

The first section of the presentation I offered to each company detailed the goals they hoped to achieve by selecting the ideal tool for their current and future documentation needs:

  • Company A: To find a viable, affordable option for moving the company’s documentation out of AuthorIT while maintaining the ability to produce both PDF and html-based documentation according to corporate branding requirements.
  • Company B: To determine the most effective documentation tool that meets all current and future documentation needs.

It was agreed that the Goals statement would be brief, leaving more details to be defined in the Requirements section.  But first, I wasn’t sure if each company fully understood its current situation.

Often as companies are documenting new product lines and creating new documents, product managers and other managers may not have a full picture of just how many documents (and pages) are being managed by the documentation team. I felt it was important to identify the current situation and, for some, to explain why continuing as they had been going along for some time wasn’t the best option.

To continue the series, see Choosing a Tool – the Current Situation (Part 3) – coming soon…