Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in San Jose, California, that designs, manufactures and sells networking equipment. I worked for Cisco for many years as an employee. One project in particular set up a new documentation standard. The following project describes what had to be done.
MSP Documentation Organization Project
The client, a global managed service provider (MSP), was unhappy with the amount of time they spent searching for new or changed information that they needed to install, configure, maintain, and troubleshoot their network. Cisco’s documentation library contained billions of pages of information.>The MSP documentation organization project contained the following steps:
- Get feedback from the MSP network engineers
- Prioritize the documentation requirements
- Find the documentation on Cisco’s website
- Compile the results in their reference manual
The first step was meeting with stakeholders to get feedback and set goals. We met weekly to discuss the progress, blocks, and revised timelines and goals, if any. We discussed the review cycles and drop-dead deadlines.
The next steps were research and writing. Lots of research was needed to learn about the MSP network and the specific items the client wanted in the reference manual. They liked our idea of a “What’s New” chapter that described new features and changes for each release of the software with embedded links to the content in the manual.
Some companies have their own library and in this case we used the client’s entire documentation library with respects to enterprise networks.
With the research completed, the first draft was sent to the engineers for review. This initial draft was updated with the comments and sent out a second time. The process was performed two or three more times until the final was completed and all stakeholders had signed off on the project.
Cisco used this manual as a template for other large enterprise customers.
Visit the Cisco website at http://www.cisco.com/.
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