Disclaimer: Given the propriety nature of the work done during my time with DIGARC, I am only able to speak in broad, general terms and can not give specific examples or details.
During my tenure with DIGARC, I was tasked three times with creating a manual for their products. Each time the task came up, it was from a different angle and each one presented a new challenge entirely.
The first time, I had just been promoted to the role of the Training Manager, and the company was preparing to release a new product for the first time, Curriculog. Notes about the product had been gathered throughout its development, but nothing formal, and nothing client facing had been created at this time.
Without a clue as to how this product worked, or having used it before, or a full understanding how it was to be used – I had to set out and figure it out!
This was certainly not an easy task, but I worked my way through it, slowly clicking through every button, noting what every action did, asking questions when I did not understand. I took screenshots along the way, and slowly, a manual began to develop. As more builds were released through additional development, I would have to continue to revise the manual and add additional content, and it continued to evolve.
In addition to creating a PDF manual, I created an online version – initially this was housed with an internal environment until it was later moved into Zendesk’s Knowledge Base.
Although their first product, Acalog, had an existing manual, it was written by developers – so not quite as client friendly as it could have been, and in time, would need updates given the numerous releases the product would go through.
This manual did not have to be written entirely from scratch like the previous one, however this one was for a substantially larger product which had been around for quite a bit longer – and needed quite a few more updates! If memory serves – I believe the PDF version ended somewhere just over 200 pages!
The third manual I created was for one of their more recent products, SECTION. Much like the first manual, this one would need to be created, and receive continuous updates as builds would be released moving forward.
It should probably go without saying, but I couldn’t have done this without a solid team behind me – and a solid proofreader. One of the most important people on my team has always been my co-pilot, Kandi Hamrick – without her, so much of the success the training team would have been lost. She was always so dedicated to making sure everything we produced was grammatically correct!