Due to the implementation of baseline releases of our software (i.e. 1.1, 1.2, etc.), our support department is requesting final documentation within 60 days of the release to assist with customer support and for accountability/liability purposes. To provide some history, our techcomm group of three used to provide printed documentation and moved on to CD distribution. Currently, we distribute CDs to new customers, existing customers facing a complete version upgrade (i.e. 1.0 to 2.0) and upon request. We also offer documentation access to everyone via our web site. Our development department as a whole, has also progressed by providing readmes, preliminary documentation and final documentation online, as soon as it is completed. With limited technical writer resources, we are considerably outnumbered by programmers and testers. However, even if we hire an extra resource, we are curious to know how far other companies go to provide the most current final documentation between complete version releases, as it does require our small group to maintain each baseline version (i.e. documentation for 1.1, 1.2, etc.) for CDs and online links. Is this realistic? Do other companies provide final documentation for "in-between" versions or only for each complete version upgrade? In addition, we do have a disclaimer stating that documentation from our group is subject to change but is that enough to protect us?
I appreciate any ideas offered. Thanks! Lynette Schwend Technical Communications Analyst