Part IV. Documentation, Training, and Support

Table of Contents

12. Documentation
12.1. Documentation for Users of the Markup
12.1.1. Reference Manual
12.1.2. User's Guide
12.1.3. Tool Guides
12.1.4. Quick Reference and Online Help
12.2. Documentation for Readers of the DTD
13. Training and Support
13.1. Audiences for the Training
13.2. User Support
13.3. Phase 1: Initial Training
13.3.1. Introduction
13.3.2. Lectures and Paper Exercises
13.3.3. Computer Labs
13.3.4. Conclusion of Initial Training
13.4. Phase 2: Training Followup
13.5. Phase 3: Refresher Course
13.6. Phase 4: Quality Inspection of Documents
13.7. Phase 5: Information and Training on DTD Updates
13.8. Training Program Administration
13.8.1. Prerequisites
13.8.2. Number of Participants
13.8.3. Choice of Trainers
13.8.4. Length and Organization of the Training
13.8.5. Training Materials
13.9. The Learning Curve
13.9.1. Time Span
13.9.2. Productivity Assessment
13.10. Training Challenges

This part discusses how to develop the supporting framework that will give users of your SGML-based document production system the skills they need to use the DTD correctly.

Documentation and training are often given short shrift in technological projects. In DTD development, even if heavy investment has been made in the design, development, and testing of the DTD, there is usually little budget and time left over for documentation and training.

No matter how high the investment made in the early stages of a DTD development project, if documentation and training are not addressed properly, chances are that the whole project will fail because authors are not putting consistent and correct markup in documents, and therefore the investment in SGML and in processing applications is wasted. Lack of training or insufficient training is the second most frequent cause of failure of SGML project implementation, after lack of managerial support.

There is another reason why you should provide documentation, training, and support to users of the system. Migrating to a new document production system, particularly one based on SGML, has many challenges. Even if you've successfully communicated the rationale for the switch and gotten agreement from all the parties concerned, the people who must use the new system will tend to be resistant to change. To help them manage the effects of the migration, you need not only to arm them with the skills they will need, but also to give them a secure feeling about their ability to get help when they need it.

Chapter 12, Documentation discusses creating documentation for DTD users and implementors. Chapter 13, Training and Support describes how to prepare training and support and deliver them to users.