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

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