Preparation

The preparation phase in technical documentation is similar to the requirements gathering phase of the software development life cycle. You need to gather all the requirements and available resources during this stage of the life cycle. Identifying the requirements include establishing the primary purpose of the documentation exercise, analyzing the audience of the documentation, and defining the context and scope of the documentation.

Apart from identifying the factors stated, you also need to select the right medium of communication to the end user. The advances in the field of technical communication also prompted the emergence of many new modes of communication. Earlier, hard-copy help manuals were the only source of information provided to the end user. However, help is now available in various formats – online Help, PDFs, and printed documentation. Thus, it is also necessary to identify the medium at this stage.

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