Need Technical Writing Advice - Please Help
Posted on 2003-03-04
I've been assigned my first job as technical writer on a project and am having trouble figuring out where to begin.
Specifically, I've been asked to document operations procedures for a complex heterogeneous environment involving both Oracle client/server and J2EE architectures. I must identify operations processes and procedures, determine a plausible format for ease of maintenance, and identify content and level of detail necessary to effectively educate new staff members. Additionally, I've been asked to make the documentation web accessible and searchable by keyword.
My questions are:
1) Where do I start?
2) Are there any standards, manuals or guides that I should follow?
3) Are there any websites that offer quality examples or templates I can use?
4) Based on your experience, what is the most efficient method for allowing system personnel to maintain the documentation? (Recommendations of online intranet applications/software?)
5) In terms of maintainability and search capabilities, what is the best means of publishing the documentation online? PDF? HTML? XML? Others?
As I mentioned before, this is my first technical writing assignment so any other suggestions/recommendations would be much appreciated.