Advantages of Planning a Project

Planning the documentation project helps you in the following ways:

Reaching an Agreement

  • You can consider all the aspects of the documentation efforts when you plan it. You can think over the project and make all the decisions up front, rather than as you write. So you have all the agreement on the approach to document setup before you start writing.
  • If the project involves more than one writer, you can get an agreement from them regarding their responsibilities on what you intend to do, so that all are clear about their part in the project. Difference in views can be taken care of in the initial stages of the documentation effort.

Formalizing Certain Aspects

Planning helps in formalizing the following components:
• Project goals and objectives.
• Scope and expectations of the document.
• Roles and responsibilities of the team members.
• Assumptions and constraints.
• Quality management approach.
• Project management approach.
• Ground rules for the project (anything that is different than usual).

These can be grouped into separate topics in the documentation project plan.

Uncovering Problems

For large documentation project, as you start planning it in detail, you will uncover the problems before you start writing the document.

  • The plan will help answer questions regarding what goes into the manual, where it is to be added, the style to be used, etc.
  • You can avoid doing/redoing some tasks if you anticipate certain problems at the starting of the project.
  • It saves hours of rework or delay which germinates from unclear goals and missing information.
  • You have time to look for and decide alternate course of actions.
  • You can plan some buffer time for solving problems, right at the planning stage.
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