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Technical Communications Documentation Types and Versions - Sample Guide

Updated on February 6, 2015

This post is intended to be used as a reference guide for documentation standards (style and format) for Technical Communications (Tech Comm) deliverables. While the guide is geared toward hardcopy generation of documentation, it is applicable, with minor adaptations, to all forms of documentation.

Document Types

Tech Comm is responsible for various types of documentation, written communication, and graphics. The following table contains a list of document types.

Type
Description
Reference
Functional Specifications
Contains detailed descriptions of the product's capabilities, appearance, and interactions.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-FS
Meeting Notes
This document is a form to be used when taking meeting notes for any/all major meetings.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-MTG
Newsletter
Produced monthly. Contains project and other information. Used for information disbursement.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-NEWS
Online Help/Web Forms
HTML files.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-HTML
PDF
Any of the documents can be converted to PDF for disbursement.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-PDF
Quick Start
Contains simple installation procedures.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-QS
Requirements
Contains requirements for product/service. Long Version is used for major projects.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-R-L
Test Plan
Contains a master test plan (strategy). May also include test scenarios.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-TP
Test Script
Contains actual script(s) to be run.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-TS
User Guide
Contains information for using the product.
ADMIN-mmddyy-M-UG

Document Versions

Each of the documents discussed above will have several iterations (versions) before each is completed. Versions include:

Version
Description
Shell
Required - this version is used to establish an outline of the document.
First Draft
Required - also known as a rough draft. Used to fill in much of the information, which will be fine-tuned when edited.
Subsequent Draft
Optional - incorporates edits.
Technical Draft
Required - released only to SMEs for technical editing.
Final Draft
Required - released to every member of the team. Last chance for edits/updates/additions.
Master
Required - both hardcopy and software editions are filed.

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