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Client Documentation

dthomas32308dthomas32308 Independent DeveloperPosts: 41
I?m in the process of redoing my client handover package as well as system documentation and figured I?d invoke/poke the minds of the greats to see what they provide clients as far as documentation/manuals.

Comments

  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    It depends. Personally, I tend to keep my own documentation on a project which includes all manuals and/or protocol documentation or any other resource I used to get the job done. I also usually include the project conception documents like Scope Of Work, etc... This includes my personal notes in a big unorganized text document. All this lives in a folder in the AMX project folder / repository and is saved along with the versioning.

    In addition, the client usually requests some kind of documentation such as a users manual or whatnot. In this area I've found that it's best to create a framework the client can then take and pretty up with their corporate graphics and styles. So, I might just create a users manual in Word that they then will edit for style.

    It really varies from one contract to another.

    I find that creating large 3-ring binders is not a good use of time as the client usually throws them in some filing cabinet and never looks at them. However, the sing-sheet laminated instruction guides get used all the time. This fact also supports the idea that your system should be easily explainable on a single laminated sheet.
  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,549
    We've had customers ask for single-sheet how-to instructions, with specific demands not to use highly ambiguous technical terms like "source" and "display".

    Then there are the ones who ask for a comprehensive book... which they wave once at their manager or spouse to justify the purchase, and put away forever...
  • dthomas32308dthomas32308 Independent Developer Posts: 41
    You both have brought up the exact reason I am reworking my process with the never used complete manual. Most systems are now having a Raspberry Pi installed onsite which runs a VPN server and also does a good bit of network diagnostics and syslog which has me contemplating turning the manual into a static HTML website with the project design and final signoff documents served from the Pi as well.
  • fogled@mizzou[email protected] h4x354x0r Posts: 549
    I usually make and print a basic Users Guide; it's usually just a single or double-sided sheet with screenshots of the panel and descriptions of what the buttons do, slipped into a plastic sleeve out in the room somewhere, and with the room coordinator. I also print out the system schematic, and leave that, along with a USB drive with all documentation, programming, config files, etc. in another slip sleeve in the rack.
  • MLaletasMLaletas Junior Member Posts: 226
    Perhaps you guys have the same amount of time in between projects as me, which is none, but are just more time efficient than me. But I struggle to come up with quick reference guide laminated in a timely manner after the project is complete let alone a manual in html format and whatnot. All of which sounds great I just dont know where I could dedicate that time. I guess the question ill ask while im on the tangent is how the hell do you manage your time on projects?
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    MLaletas wrote: »
    Perhaps you guys have the same amount of time in between projects as me, which is none, but are just more time efficient than me. But I struggle to come up with quick reference guide laminated in a timely manner after the project is complete let alone a manual in html format and whatnot. All of which sounds great I just dont know where I could dedicate that time. I guess the question ill ask while im on the tangent is how the hell do you manage your time on projects?

    I tend to work on the documentation concurrently. I have the doc writing app open and use it as my check list. For example: for source selects I will write a quick instruction set for selecting the source and how it works. Then I write the code. I'm essentially making my notes look pretty. And, of course, since I don't really change how I do source selects much, it's just a matter of copying and pasting into my documentation.
  • dthomas32308dthomas32308 Independent Developer Posts: 41
    MLaletas wrote: »
    Perhaps you guys have the same amount of time in between projects as me, which is none, but are just more time efficient than me. But I struggle to come up with quick reference guide laminated in a timely manner after the project is complete let alone a manual in html format and whatnot. All of which sounds great I just dont know where I could dedicate that time. I guess the question ill ask while im on the tangent is how the hell do you manage your time on projects?

    Like Eric, I do my documentation concurrently and actually start my documentation before I type the first bit of code to ensure I?ve thought all the way through the task. That said I wrote an internal document and customer facing document for each function so that I?m not rushing at the end of the project.
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