All decent technical writers have a process. Here’s mine:
1. Analyze and Plan
- Analyze user needs.
- Analyze user tasks.
- Choose tool.
- Create high-level plan.
2. Organize and Design
- Organize user tasks by user role.
- Create detailed plan (outline of each document).
- Write sample topics.
- Create timeline.
3. Write and Edit
- Write draft content from specifications or design documents.
- Create screen captures and diagrams.
- Validate content against application.
- Create context-sensitive links (online help only).
4. Revise and Publish
- Revise content based on feedback.
- Create final versions of documentation.
- Manage translation process (if localization is required).
At each stage during this process I require approval and feedback from you, my client, to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the results. This also optimizes my efforts and minimizes your costs.