To decrease documentation costs without decreasing the quality of the documentation, do these things:
- Specify which modules of the software are complete and which modules are not complete. The technical writers can work on the completed modules. (Creating documentation that will change before the product comes to the market is a waste of time).
- Do not repeatedly change the user interface or the functions of the software.
- Do not ask for changes late in the documentation life cycle, because a small change can result in much added work.
- Ask for all changes at the same time.
- Include documentation experts in the design of the user interface. Possibly, they will see simpler ways of doing things. (In one case, TechScribe showed how to decrease a software installation from fourteen screens to only one screen. TechScribe saw what the software developers could not see.)
- Make sure that the software has been tested. Alternatively, include the technical writers in the testing process. Sometimes, technical writers find errors that testers do not find, because technical writers do not work to test schedules.
- If the software interface is simple and easy to use, a detailed explanation is not necessary. Therefore, include usability experts in your design.