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Does each product delivery require a customization project?

Here is more information about how our products can help you manage documentation processes when dealing with diverse requirements.

Customization projects

When each delivery is unique but builds on a common product, technical writers face a special set of challenges. The documentation for each delivery must accurately reflect customizations that may be complex and unique, while maintaining consistency and quality. Writing documentation often requires advanced insights into the technical details of each project. Life cycles of delivered products are often long and updates are required over time.

The documentation process and toolset must facilitate efficient and accurate knowledge transfer from the busy key project engineers to technical writers. Skribenta's solution allows engineers to contribute directly to the documentation, while also maintaining and updating base documentation that each project uses as a starting point.

Managing twin life cycles of base product and customizations

The typical process in Skribenta for products that are highly customized is to start with a shared core of standard documentation, that generally applies to the product. This core is maintained in its own version line, where the latest released version always describes the latest version of the product. When the base product changes, the standard documentation is updated.

Each project starts with a copy of the standard documentation for the product, where project engineers and technical writers work together to customize the documentation and adapt it to the customized product. This copy lives for the entire life cycle of the delivered product, and is easy to find and update in Skribenta. For each delivery a new version is released and preserved, so that the release history is always available. At any time it is easy to check what was changed between releases, or everything that was changed compared to the standard documentation.

Upgrading components

During the life cycle of a customized product, sometimes components - commonly software components - are replaced or upgraded to a later version. Skribenta allows you to organize the documentation into separate components with individual release history. Newer releases of the standard documentation for the affected component can be selectively merged into the delivered documentation for the customized product.

Collaboration with project engineers

Skribenta allows project engineers and other to contribute directly in the system. They can access a simplified user interface for contributors, where they can make changes and add new content describing the customizations in the project. All contributions are automatically checked for spelling and grammar errors, and can be reviewed and modified by technical writers to ensure consistency in style and structure.

Access to both base components and projects can be restricted to specific groups of users, to enforce separation of responsibilities within the organization.

Automated import of technical data and drawings

Technical data and drawings are often important building blocks for the documentation of highly customized products, that are produced and maintained in other systems. Skribenta can be integrated with these systems to automate import. Automating manual tasks like this can reduce the workload for both technical writers and project engineers, as well as eliminating a potential source of errors in the documentation.

Bundled documentation

Some complex products depend on third party components that also have documentation that must be delivered to the end user of the customized product. Such documentation is produced by another supplier, delivered in a fixed format, and has its own life cycle.

With Skribenta, these documents can be bundled and delivered together with the rest of the documentation - either as appendixes in a PDF manual, or as separate files in an online documentation site. This makes sure both that the end user gets the relevant documents, and that the entire delivery history can be traced in one place.

Service engineers

Service engineers must have accurate and relevant technical information about all delivered products for their entire life cycles. This can be a challenge when each delivery is unique, and subject to repairs, updates and retrofitting over time. Without a rigorous process it is hard to know if printed matter or a PDF on the computer is still valid.

Skribenta lets you build an online delivery portal where all documentation for each delivery is published and kept up to date. Here, service engineers can search for information and be confident that it is valid for the specific customized product they are servicing right now.