Phase 1: Pre-analysis

Overview

The first phase of a Madcap project is to make a pre-analysis of the current documentation and localization workflows and plan the transition to Madcap Flare.

Typically, the client has some visions and maybe even a requirement specification detailing the requirements and wishes for their new authoring system.

Write2Users (W2U) also makes a preliminary analysis of the legacy content to be imported into Madcap Flare. W2U works together with leading Word, Framemaker, Indesign, HTML and XML experts to evaluate the feasibility of the transition to Flare.

From the information at hand W2U creates a recommended documentation and localization strategy which forms the basis of future project discussions and decisions.

Executive summary

W2U creates a rating of the feasibility to move from the existing authoring system to Madcap Flare. This is done by showing management traffic lights (green, yellow, red) for a number of parameters, including structured writing, topic based authoring, single sourcing, contribution/review workflows, localization workflow. Management can then judge at a glance whether it’s a good idea to move to Flare or not.

Existing vs future workflows

In collaboration with the client, W2U creates a “state of the nation” report with an overview of current processes and tools. With this in hand, we can quickly pin-point the most vital features to learn and point out the main differences between then and now.

Conversion of legacy content

Most of our clients are moving from Microsoft Word, Framemaker, Robohelp, Author-It, Help & Manual, Indesign – to Madcap Flare. However, the state of the existing content differs significantly between clients. This is why it’s very important to get an expert opinion on how suitable your content is to be converted into Flare. You can say there are three main aspects of the conversion:

  • The technical ability to move the content 1:1 into Flare
  • The suitability of the content to move from long documents to topic based authoring
  • The potential for single sourcing text and images

Based on representative content, W2U creates a detailed conversion status report.

Requirement specification

In collaboration with the client, W2U creates a requirement specification with both general visions and also Madcap-specific requirements. The specification is the key document in the development process of the Madcap Flare project. 

Documentation and localization strategies

Based on the information at hand, W2U draws a flowchart detailing the steps of the pre-analysis and development phases. This flowchart outlines the recommended workflows for both the content development and the localization process.

Deliverables

Executive summary
Pre-analysis report
Conversion analysis and strategy
Integration report
Requirement specification
Documentation strategy flowchart
Localization strategy flowchart

Phase 1: Pre-analysis