Like most technical writing teams we are small in number. As such, monitoring and tracking both the work that needs done as well as the work that is in progress can be a challenge.
So I’m currently casting my net far and wide to find a good way to keep a handle on this so that I’m always reasonably up to speed with where we are in the grand scheme of things. Forgive me if the following isn’t particularly well delivered, as I am thinking this through as I type it up.
First things first, we need a plan. Actually we need two. One is a high level map of the documentation structure for the entire product so we always have a view of what we are writing and where it will go, and the map will include indicators about the audience so we know who we are writing for at a given time.
Then we need to plan the next batch of work inline with the development teams, estimating what new content is need and how long it will take. Alongside that is the daily churn of small bug fixes and enhancements, some of which will need to be documented, and the supported streams of older versions of the product as well.
The occasional request via email rounds out the various routes in which new items of work are generated.
I’m ignoring, for now, passing comments by colleagues (most times I’ll just email them to our team email alias to make sure we’ve captured the request).
So, project plans, topic breakdowns, bug fixes and open requests for more information. Nothing to out of the ordinary I’m sure, nothing that each and every technical writer has to deal with.
Which begs the question, how DO you deal with it all? Over to you, how do you track your work?