For those companies and organisations who wish to carry out documentation work themselves, Martyn Davison can provided Consulting Services the following areas:
Different projects have different requirements when considering the type of documentation that is necessary (or contracted for) and also the resources needed to deliver.
What documentation is actually needed to satisfy a contractual requirements is an often long debated subject. A long experience in the origination and provision of documentation for a wide range of equipment gives me a very good idea of what is actually required.
Some projects can, with the best of intentions, be crippled with over specified documentation. For example, taking into consideration the depth of maintenance policy, providing a much deeper level of support is unnecessary and costly.
Steering a course through the requirements and desires is often a tricky occupation. An independent mind is sometimes needed to determine the best course of action.
I have long experience in assessing actual requirements and can undertake this work for clients either to relieve understaffed organisations in decision making or help inexperienced managers to determine the best way forward.
Having decided what documentation is required the question to answer next is "How can the requirement be best provided?"
Using in house skills and resources may be the answer, on the other hand, having the work carried out by subcontractors (either in-house or off site) can provide an economic solution. Determining which route to take can also be difficult and, once again, an independent assessment is sometimes useful in this regard.
I have worked both as in-house and off site resource and understand the strengths and weaknesses of both methods of working. If necessary I can provide a watching brief on progress after the decisions have made as to where the resources are to be obtained.
An increasing number of projects require the generation of Electronic Publications.
My long, and often ground breaking, association with electronic publications provides an almost unparalleled viewpoint on how best to assess the requirement and then implement the generation and publication of Electronic Publications.
Where projects are contracted to Def Stan 00-60 help is often required to determine the Document Management Plan, Data Module Coding, and Data Module Requirement List. In some projects it may be necessary to write and implement a set of Business Rules to indicate how the structures are to be interpreted.
The mainstream electronic documentation projects in toady's technical documentation field are created to comply with existing standards and/or specifications. Typically projects within the UK comply with Def Stan 00-60 which in turn requires the use of AECMA Specification 1000D structures.
Where projects are not contracted to these specifications/standards, I can provide help in creating/modifying (where necessary) structures to meet the documentation needs.
Increasingly projects use material which is already in existence but in another format. This other format can be paper, electronic which may, in turn, be contained in SGML or Word Processor files.
Cost effective use can be made of this 'Legacy' material by judicious use of conversion processes. Re-authoring material is most often a poor use of resources, particularly if the migration process can be carried out in parallel with the main creation process.
I have had many years experience of determining the cost effectiveness of information migration and can willingly indicate where savings can be made without sacrificing the integrity of the data.
Having created the documents to be used in the project is is necessary to manage the various constituent resources. In some projects this can be a considerable amount of material. Areas to be considered include issue control, file delivery, authorising access, and possibly workflow management.
I have experience in this area which can be brought focussed on individual projects to obtain the best and most cost effective solution to 'keeping it all under control'.