December 12, 2012

Document Development Life Cycle

In an initiative to  encourage ADID Alumni and other technical writers to share technical writing knowledge,ADID invited Neha Srivastava to share her understanding on the documentation development life cycle and she come up with well knit and researched post .

You can write to her or post comment to ask anything dropping from your mind on DDLC.

Introduction to Document Development Life Cycle

The Document Development Life Cycle (DDLC) is the process of developing documents. It is necessary to follow DDLC to enhance the quality and optimize timely delivery of document. 
The Document Development Life Cycle is mainly comprised of steps which are given below,it can varies company or project-wise also:

           Requirement Analysis
           Designing
           Developing the Content
           Editing/ Proofreading
           Publishing
           Maintenance 

Requirement Analysis

During the Requirement Analysis process  we gather the information of product from SMEs,available documents,online search etc. We analyze the criteria of producing the product according to the audience. In Audience analysis, we analyze who will use this product, what is the need of creating the product, and measures of skill and expertise of the audience etc. We also figure out what tools we are going to use like Robohelp,Framemaker etc.  By understanding the product requirement, we can easily estimate the time, resources and cost of the product.

Designing

In Designing phase, we design the document we crate templates,master page etc.We take approval of design like fonts size and style,list,table, numbing and look and feel approval is taken from concern person.

 Developing the Content

We develop the content according to the product features and requirement. We analyze the product, run the product and write the draft according to the product. We create user manual, user guide, reports, and online help etc. We add title, copyright, content, index, glossary, and appendix etc in the manual.This is actual content development phase.

 Editing/ Proofreading

Editing is the process in which we test the creating project according to the requirement, and product features. We check the first draft through Technical Writer editor, peer review or the technical review etc. In this phase, we check the technical part, grammar mistakes, figures, and format etc.
Proofreading is the final testing of the project by checking proper layout, style and grammar mistakes etc. In this phase, we check the draft entirely. Our main purpose is to remove bug from the draft, so that document is clear and understandable.To read more on proofreading click here.

 Publishing

In this phase, we publish the document as online help, and print document etc. Print documents are the hard copy in which all the content may be in long sentences or paragraph, and screen shots. In online help, we add hyperlinks, and content is in short sentences. These documents are useful to end users to determine the exact use of the product.

 Maintenance

Maintenance is the process in which we add updates, create versions after modification in the project. When new product comes in the market, then user manual is updated according to the added new feature. Companies also spend cost in creating Support Centers for enhancing user satisfaction.
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