Release Notes: 7 Steps to Better Enhancements

release-notes

Want to improve the quality of the enhancements in your Release Notes? Here are seven ways.

Enhancement Identifier

Provide the reference number for the enhancement, such as Salesforce 12345.

Business value

Describe the benefit to the user if they use this enhancement.

Usually, there is a specific business driver or customer request behind each enhancement’s development. Describe this in one or two sentences.

Encourage the reader to try the new feature. If the default setting means the new feature is not displayed, then highlight that they need to change a parameter settings or some other configuration.

Location

Identify where the enhancement is displayed in the user interface.

If necessary, identify or describe any specific steps required to access this screen. Don’t make the reader work to find out where the new feature is located.

Identify the window, dialog box, or web page where they can examine it. Also, if finding it is not intuitive, help them by providing a short reminder on how to find the screen.

Configuration settings

Most new features come with new configuration settings or parameters that need to be modified. If necessary, describe the configuration settings that need to be modified to use the new enhancement. State where this is located and the default settings.

Highlight any impact using this new feature may have on other settings, windows, or data, for example, changes in reports, user access, or performance.

Files affected

List the files affected by the update as consultants may need to be aware of this. Highlight if they have to rebuild a DLL or recompile a file to use the new feature.

Books affected

Identify where the user can learn more about this area, for example, the User Guide or Installation manuals.

Enable v Allow

Be clear when using these words.

In general, allow relates to access rights. For example, this enhancement allows you (i.e. with these access rights) to perform this specific task.

Enable relates to new functionality, for example, this window enables you to create reports for hedge accounting. In other words, you now have the ability to create hedge accounting reports.