Sample Website Installation Plan

The following guidelines explain how to install a website application. Getting Started It is recommended that you install and verify the software in your test environment prior to deploying it to your production environment. Warning – When specifying an existing database as the installation target, this install process will replace that existing database. Be sure […]

Release Notes: how to validate technical accuracy

You can validate the accuracy of your release note by creating a checklist and reviewing each item on the list until you know these by heart: Files affected Have you entered the files for its related product? For example, some DLLs may affect one version but not another. Make sure these are not entered by […]

IBM Error Message Guidelines

The following is an example of how IBM writes error messages. Notice the words and phrasing as well as how the alert categories are explained. Error Message There is no value specified for the User ID. Explanation You must specify a value for the user ID. Alert Category Similar events are grouped in categories. The […]

Release Notes: how to test technical accuracy

Grasshopper, what do you after you’ve written your release notes? Test it. Here are four ways to check if the bugs, issues and enhancements are written correctly: 1. Can you reproduce the issue? Have you reproduced the issue on a local machine? Note that you’ll need the same version of the application that the bug […]

Configuration Guides: How To Document Parameters

If you want your customers to keep using your products, make sure every parameter settings is correctly documented. So, how can you write glittering configuration guides that sparkle and amaze when customers print out the PDF? Here’s how, grasshopper. Make sure to capture the following when documenting every parameters in your technical documents. No excuses, […]

Software Testing: how to keep Agile projects on track

Is Agile software development good for a tester’s mental health? Depends, doesn’t it? So, how can we keep software testing projects on track when the Developers are using Agile to create sprints? What do we need to ask our developers? Ask Dev to confirm THEIR understanding of UAT It’s not enough to ask, ‘do you […]

[Checklist] Release Notes: 7 Don’ts and 13 Do’s

If your technical writing job involves writing release notes, create checklists for writing, reviewing, and production. Use the following checklist to review release notes. Avoid the following mistakes when writing release notes. When – use if instead use when. The difference between when and if is that when implies something has occurred, for example, when […]

Release Notes: 7 Steps to Better Enhancements

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 […]

Context Sensitive Help: 13 Ways to Test and Improve

After writing the Content Sensitive Help, create a test plan to check that the Help works correctly. Before you start testing the Content Sensitive Help: Clear the cache. Open Excel to log errors. Don’t test your own work. How to Test Content Sensitive Help Use this checklist to test the Content Sensitive Help: F1 — […]

[Checklist] Documents Reviews with Indian Technical Writing Team

Does your technical writing team have offices in Bangalore? Many US software companies are moving technical writing projects to India, Romania, Singapore and Poland. I often help these teams setup their tech writing dept and mentor junior writers who are finding their way. Document reviews are one area you need to focus on to ensure […]