Case Histories

Developing a Documentation Plan

MSD, Inc. was asked by a software development company to assist them in determining which types of technical documents would be best suited for their Internet Security (PKI) product. The DocuDr. spent approximately two weeks meeting with the company’s technical managers and developers to analyze their requirements and determine which technical documents would be appropriate. MSD then presented the client with a list of recommended documents and justifications for each (Phase 1), from which the client selected five documents as the most essential. MSD then developed the five documents and delivered them to the client at the proposed costs and on schedule.

Complete Lifecycle Documentation Suite

MSD, Inc. developed a full set of life cycle documentation for a software development project initiated by the FBI’s Computer Analysis Team. This program enhanced, upgraded, and automated CART’s ability to perform forensic analyses of all types of computer media. The direct benefit offered by this program was to expedite the identification and extraction of data from computer media that may be used in any number of activities, including criminal prosecutions.

Data Mining Project Documentation

MSD, Inc. developed several documents for the Veterans Benefits Administration as part of the VA’s modernization initiative. This project provided the VBA with enhanced and updated capabilities for processing and reviewing veteran’s loans and for distributing payments made under those loans.

Developing Documentation Under Pressure

The DocuDr. was called in by a company that had spent the project’s entire documentation budget in trying to assemble a requirement’s specification – and the requirements had STILL not been documented. The DocuDr. accepted the challenge and was able to complete the requirements within two weeks. Several weeks later, the client called MSD again and asked if we would be interested in taking on the project’s remaining documentation. MSD submitted a proposal that was then accepted by the client and the client’s customer. MSD’s team of technical writers then completed and delivered the documents to favorable reviews.

Refining and Improving Client’s Existing Documentation

MSD was called by a company that inquired about our familiarity with highly complex systems and the associated documentation. The DocuDr. stated that documentation for complex systems was our specialty and provided some examples. During an initial meeting with this client, MSD was handed a large document of about 400 pages and was asked to state an opinion. After some quick page-flipping, The DocuDr. observed that there did not appear to be a logical presentation to the massive amount of information and that the Table of Contents was exceedingly long at 30 pages. The client agreed and stated that their current documentation staff had done a fine job of compiling the raw technical information, but they lacked the technical background to create logical and “readable” technical documents. It soon became apparent that the client’s need was to supply their global staff with comprehensive documentation that would allow the readers to educate themselves on the system. The MSD team was brought in to supplement the client’s documentation staff with the necessary technical expertise and documentation management experience. The final outcome was a set of useful (and user friendly) system- and product-level documents for the client’s management, sales staff, and technical personnel. Also, some of the higher level “overview” documents developed by MSD were given to potential customers as a product reference to help salespeople close the sale.

Engineering documentation consulting under challenging situations or with “information possessive” individuals.

We can also help you technical document a system when the only person (or persons) that possess the knowledge simply refuse to work with technical writers or just don’t want to document their creation. We understand the sensitivities and political implications that can exist for your company with such a situation and have learned how to carefully and successfully facilitate the documents you need. We are an actively cleared company, with extensive experience in the Intelligence Community (IC). We have a proven track record for being accepted and achieving respect and credibility with the technical experts that matter.

Developing a plan of attack for documenting your developing or existing system.

Should your customer tell you that they want to see your documentation plan and you have none; MSD’s tech writers can help you create one. We will take a close look at your passed-down requirements and develop a planned approach for getting your documents designed, written, and delivered. Then, together, we will formulate the best approach for your organization to achieve the goals of completed documentation. The result will be a logical menu of technical documents that make sense to your environment, your budget, your schedule, and your customer.

Documenting systems when time is of the essence.

When the technical documentation tasks are left until the end of the project, it is often because the development overran the schedule. Obviously, the documentation must still be delivered by following shortcuts that don’t compromise the quality of the content. MSD has frequently delivered technical documents under an abbreviated schedule by reducing review cycles, compressing the data gathering phase, or even by increasing the hourly efforts needed to achieve the milestones. MSD has also found that in certain circumstances, reducing the number of staff assigned to a compressed task and refocusing their efforts can drive a task to an earlier delivery. Hiring a technical writer from MSD will allow your company to have the necessary experience and technical background to complete the technical documentation faster and without the need for multiple junior tech writers.