Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Disposition Phase

Phase ten of the Software Development LifeCycle is the Disposition Phase. We have now written technical documents for the Initiation, Concept Development, Planning, Requirements, Design, Development, Testing, Deployment and Operations phases.

SDLC Templates for Disposition Phase

Next, we will write documents to show how to dispose of the software once its lifecycle is completed. Use the Disposition Phase to eliminate a large part of a system or close down a system and end the life cycle process.

The deliverables for this phase include:

  • Disposition Plan
  • Post-Termination Review Report
  • Archived System

Tasks & Activities for Disposition Phase

This phase ensures that data, procedures, and documentation are packaged and archived correctly, which lets you reinstall the system back to an operational status, if necessary

Tasks and activities for this phase include:

  • Prepare Disposition Plan
  • Archive or Transfer Data
  • Archive or Transfer Software Components
  • Archive Life Cycle Deliverables
  • Close the System
  • Dispose of Equipment
  • Prepare Post-Termination Review Report

The Disposition Phase is the end of the systems life cycle. Create a Disposition Plan to address archiving, transferring, and disposing of the system and data.

The disposition activities preserve information not only about the production system but also how it developed through its life cycle.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Operations and Maintenance Phase

Phase nine of the Software Development LifeCycle is the Operations and Maintenance Phase. We have now written technical documents for the Initiation, Concept Development, Planning, Requirements, Design, Development, Testing and Deployment phases. Next, we will write documents to show how all facets of operations and maintenance are performed.

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Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Operations and Maintenance Phase

This SDLC phase shows how the system is used to ensure that it meets the needs stated in the planning phase. As issues arise, they may require modification to code, new code to be developed and hardware configuration changes. This phase ensure that the users needs are met and the system performs as specified in the operational environment.

The deliverables for this phase include:

Tasks & Activities for Deployment and Implementation Phase

As operations and maintenance personnel monitor the system they may see ways to improve it and make recommendations.

Tasks and activities for this phase include:

  • Ensure the system operates as per requirements
  • Meets performance expectations
  • Ensure that systems are available during the defined hours of Operations
  • Implement non-emergency requests during scheduled Outages
  • Ensure all processes, manual and automated
  • Perform backups
  • Perform physical security functions
  • Ensure contingency planning for disaster recovery is tested
  • Ensure that service level objectives are monitored
  • Maintain performance measurements, statistics, and system logs
  • Monitor performance statistics

Next week, we show how to create documents for the SDLC Disposition Phase.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Deployment and Implementation Phase

Phase eight of the Software Development LifeCycle is the Deployment and Implementation Phase. We have now written technical documents for the Initiation, Concept Development, Planning, Requirements, Design, Development and Testing phases. Next, we will write documents to show how the system is installed and made operational in a live production environment.

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Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Deployment and Implementation Phase

You start this phase after the system has been tested and accepted by Users in UAT.

The deliverables for this phase include:

  • Delivered System
  • Deployment Plan
  • Release Notes
  • Request For Change
  • Change Control
  • Change Implementation Notice
  • Version Description Document
  • Post-Implementation Review

Tasks & Activities for Deployment and Implementation Phase

Tasks and activities for this phase include:

  • Notification of implementation to users
  • Execution of the training plans
  • Data entry or conversion
  • Post implementation reviews

This phase continues until the system works correctly in production in accordance with the User Requirements.

Next week, we show how to create documents for the SDLC Operations Phase.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Test and Integration Phase

The seventh phase in the Software Development LifeCycle is the Test and Integration Phase. We have now written technical documents for the Initiation, Concept Development, Planning, Requirements, Design and Development phases. Next, we will write documents to show how to test all aspects of the database, systems, applications and other software tools.

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Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Test and Integration Phase

This week we look at the Microsoft Word templates, guides and documents for the Testing phase. In this part of the Software Development LifeCycle, the Software Testers look at how the system is designed and test it based on the specifications and requirements.

The documents for this phase include:

Software Development LifeCycle Tasks & Activities for Test Phase

Tasks and activities for this phase include:

  • Testing Software
  • Creating Test Cases
  • Conducting System Qualification Testing
  • Installing Software
  • Documenting UAT
  • Updating Test Documentation
  • Setup Test Environment
  • Integration Tests
  • Subsystem/System Testing
  • Security Testing
  • Conduct Acceptance Testing

Test and Integration Phase Tasks

Other tasks in this phase include:

  • The Technical Lead will close the Software Development Document from the Development Phase. They will also signoff the Operations Guide, Systems Administration Manual, User Manual, Training Plan, Maintenance Manual, Conversion Plan, Implementation Plan, and Contingency Plan.
  • The Project Manager will finalize the System Security Plan and the Security Risk Assessment.
  • The Configuration Manager will finalize the Configuration Management Plan from the Planning Phase.
  • The Quality Assurance lead will close the Quality Assurance Plan from the Planning Phase.

Next week, we show how to write documents for the SDLC Deployment Phase.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Development Phase

The sixth phase in the Software Development LifeCycle is the Development Phase. We have now written technical documents for the Initiation, Concept Development, Planning, Requirements and Design phases. Next, we will write documents to show how to design develop the database, system, applications and other software tools.

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Development Phase

This week we look at the Microsoft Word templates, guides and document for the Development phase. In this part of the Software Development LifeCycle, the IT Architects use the requirements gathered earlier in the process to design how the application works and the Design documents to develop how the application will work in a real environment.

The documents for this phase include:

Software Development LifeCycle Tasks & Activities for Development Phase

Tasks and activities for this phase include:

  • Coding and Testing Software
  • Integrating Software
  • Conducting Software Qualification Tests
  • Integrating System
  • Conducting System Qualification Testing
  • Installing Software
  • Documenting Software Acceptance
  • Revising Documentation

Next week, we show how to write software test documents for the SDLC Test Phase.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Design Phase

The fifth phase in the Software Development LifeCycle is the Design Phase. We have now finished technical documents for the Initiation, Software Concept Development, Planning and Requirements phases. Next, we will write documents to capture how to design the database, system and the interface.

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Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Design Phase

This week we look at the Microsoft Word templates, guides and design document for the Design phase. This is one of the most detailed parts of the Software Development LifeCycle where the IT Architects will use the requirements gathered earlier in the process to design how the application works.

These documents for this phase include:

Different SDCL Methodologies & Design Phase

Depending on the SDLC Methodology you use, for example, RUP or Scrum, the User Guide and Training Plan may be part of this phase. For others methodologies, these guides and manuals will be written in the Operations and Maintenance Phase.

Next week, we show how to write documents for the SDLC Development Phase.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Requirements Phase

The fourth phase in the Software Development LifeCycle is the Requirements Phase. We have now finished the documents for the Initiation, Software Concept Development and Planning phases. Next, we write the technical documents to capture user requirements, business requirements and functional specifications.

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Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Requirements Phase

This week, we look at the Microsoft Word templates, guides and manuals for the Planning phase. This is one of the most detailed parts of the Software Development LifeCycle and requires many technical documents.

These documents for this phase include:

Java & Software Development LifeCycle’s Requirements Phase

‘In large projects the requirements phase may be divided into a userview phase, producing use cases, and a requirements specification phase. The justification for doing this is that you can use the checklist for test plan development and acceptance testing.’

Quote from "Advanced Java Development for Enterprise Application" by Clifford J. Berg

Next week, we show how to write design documents for the SDLC Design Phase.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Planning Phase

The third phase in the Software Development LifeCycle is to document that Planning Phase. We have now finished the documents for the Initiation and Software Concept Development phases. Now we write the technical documents to plan how the system will be developed, tested and implemented.

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Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Planning Phase

This week, we look at the Microsoft Word templates, guides and manuals for the Planning phase. This is one of the most detailed parts of the Software Development LifeCycle and requires many technical documents.

These documents for this phase include:

  • Acquisition Plan
  • Configuration Management Plan
  • Quality Assurance Plan
  • Concept of Operations
  • Security Risk Assessment
  • Conversion Plan
  • Availability Plan
  • Capacity Plan
  • Change Management Plan
  • Deployment Plan
  • Installation Plan
  • Transition Plan
  • Bill of Materials
  • System Security Plan
  • Project Management Plan
  • Verification and Validation Plan

Software Development LifeCycle Requirements Phase

Next week, we show how to write these documents and then move into the Requirements Phase.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for System Concept Development Phase

Once you have finished writing technical documents for the Initiation Phase, what plans and guides to you need to capture in the Software Development LifeCycle? The next phase to be documented is the Software Concept Development phase.

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Initiation Phase

This week, we look at the Microsoft Word templates, guides and manuals for the Software Concept Development phase.

These documents include the following four documents:

Next Software Development LifeCycle Documents and Forms

After you have written these documents for your IT and Web projects, you will also need to create checklists and forms that support this phase of the SDLC.

Next week, we show how to write these documents and the mistakes to avoid when writing Risk Management Plans.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Initiation Phase

What technical documents do you need to capture in the Software Development LifeCycle? This week, we look at the Microsoft Word templates for the Initiation Phase.

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Click here to download this Availability Plan Template

Software Development LifeCycle Templates for Initiation Phase

These documents include the following:

  • Bill of Materials
  • Business Architecture
  • Business Case
  • Business Glossary
  • Business Modelling
  • Business Rules
  • Business Use Case
  • Concept Proposal
  • Needs Statement
  • PM Charter
  • Scope of Work
  • Statement of Work
  • Business Specifications
  • Vision and Scope
  • Business Approval Forms
  • Business Development Case

Other Software Development LifeCycle Documents and Forms

When creating these documents for your software projects, you will also need to create different checklists and forms, such as Issue Logs for Software Testing and Status Reports for Project Management.

About the Author: Sandra Nielsen is a Software Development consultant who specializes in Waterfall, RUP and other software development methodologies. Download her free Microsoft Word templates at the Software Development Lifecycle Template Kit

10 More Capitalization Rules for Titles & Headings

Ever wondered if it’s ok to cap a letter in the middle of a document title? There are many golden rules in grammar and when to use capitals is one area where most of us trip up at some point. Last week, we looked at the most basic grammar mistakes you can make when using capitalization. I’ve had emails asking for more guidelines to use capitalization, so here are the examples.

10 Capitalization Guidelines

Use the following guidelines for capitalization in titles and headings:

  1. Capitalize all nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and pronouns.
  2. Capitalize the first and last words.
  3. Capitalize prepositions that are part of a verb phrase ("Writing Your First Business Plan").
  4. Capitalize the second word in compound words – if it is a noun or proper adjective OR the words have equal weight (e.g. Read/Write Access). Tip: Do not capitalize the second word if it is a participle modifying the first word.
  5. Capitalize interface terms that usually would not be capitalized. Follow the traditional use of keywords and special terms in programming languages.
  6. In table column headings, capitalize only the first word of each column heading.
  7. Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the) unless an article is the first word in the title.
  8. Do not capitalize coordinate conjunctions (and, but, for, or).
  9. Do not capitalize prepositions of four or fewer letters.
  10. Do not capitalize to in an infinitive phrase ("How to Watch TV When Sleeping").

I know there are more. What have I missed?

Peer Review for System Requirements Specifications

A few weeks ago, we looked at Peer Reviews for Software Development LifeCycle projects. This week, we’re going to look at what you need to include when doing Peer Review for System Requirements Specifications.

Reviewing System Requirements Specifications

mistakes-homer-simpson

You can use the same free template we shared last time – email me if you don’t have it – but add the following fields to the checklist:

Review Checklist

Enter Yes or No and then provide your comments below.

  • Technical Mistakes – Does the System Requirements Specifications have any mistakes?
  • Grammar Mistakes – Is the System Requirements Specification free of grammatical and spelling errors?
  • Consistent – Is this System Requirements Specifications consistent with other Specifications?
  • Use Cases – Are the use cases properly identified and documented?
  • Operating System – Has the operating environment been investigated and documented?
  • Constraints – Are design and implementation constraints clearly stated?
  • Technical Documentation – Are requirements for user documentation, help screens, or tutorials documented?
  • Assumptions – Are assumptions and dependencies stated?
  • Features – Is the list of system features complete?
  • Narratives – Does each feature have a narrative process description?
  • Hardware – Are external hardware interfaces documented?
  • User interfaces – Are user interfaces requirements identified?
  • Nonfunctional – Are non-functional requirements documented?

Peer Reviews For Requirements Specifications

The key to make this work is to keep the checklist simple, practical and actionable. Then use the information to improve the Software Development LifeCycle so that all others aspects of the system are improved.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about peer reviews. What they’re done right, we all learn but like Lesson Learned review can easily degenerate into bitching sessions if not managed correctly.

Software Development Lifecycle Templates By Phase (MS Word/Excel)

Download MS Word templates for every phase of the Software Development Lifecycle. Ever wondered what technical documents you need to write for the Software Development LifeCycle? This free Excel spreadsheet identifies all the plans, guides and forms you to create such as those for requirements specification, design, implementation, testing, deployment, and post-deployment maintenance and enhancement.

Download SDLC lifecycle Templates in PDF and Excel

To help you understand what documents you need to write, we’ve prepared these two downloads which show the different stages of the Software Development LifeCycle and the documents required for each stage.

Templates for Software Development LifeCycle – MS Excel

Templates for Software Development LifeCycle – PDF

Software-Development-LifeCycle-Templates-By-Phase-Spreadsheet

Note that this is designed mostly for the Waterfall methodology but can be adapted for Scrum, CMMI, RUP and other formats.

SDLC Documents by Phases

  1. Initiation Phase
  2. Concept Development Phase
  3. Planning Phase
  4. Requirements Analysis Phase
  5. Design Phase
  6. Test Phase
  7. Implementation Phase
  8. Disposition Phase

What technical documents are required for the different phases of the software development lifecycle?

Here are the documents broken out by the main waterfall phases. Essentially, this includes manuals, guides, and plans to do the following:

  • Define the project setup
  • Analyze the requirements
  • Design the databases, applications, user interface, and network
  • Code and test the actual software that you’ve developed
  • Verify, validate, and ensure that it can be deployed

The following documents are required for different phases of the software development lifecycle.

Initiation Phase

In the Initiation phase, you need to write the following documents:

Concept Proposal

Describes the need or opportunity to improve existing agency business functions using automation and technology. Identify unmet goals or performance improvements. [Learn more about the Concept Proposal template]

Business Case

Use this to build a Business Case for your project; identify the return on investment for your solution to seek approval by your sponsor. [Learn more about the Business Case template]

Concept Development Phase

The Concept Development Phase typically begins after the Concept Proposal and Project Charter are approved, the Initiation project status review completed, and approval to proceed to the Concept Development Phase is granted.

The purpose of the Concept Development Phase is to:

  • Evaluate the feasibility of alternatives
  • Define and approve project scope, including the system, deliverables, and required activities.

The Concept Development Phase includes the following tasks:

  • Business need analysis
  • Project scope definition
  • Technical alternatives evaluation
  • Project acquisition strategy
  • Risk analysis
  • Project costs approval
  • Roles and responsibilities definition
  • Work breakdown structure definition
  • Project viability creation
  • Approval to progress to the planning phase

In the Concept phase, you need to write the following documents:

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Documents how to calculate and compare benefits and costs of a project or decision. The CBA helps predict whether a project’s benefits or decision outweigh its costs relative to other alternatives.

[Learn more about the Cost Benefit Analysis template]

Use the Cost-Benefit Analysis to:

  • Determine if the project or decision is a sound investment or decision.
  • Compare the total expected cost of each option against the total expected benefits, determine if benefits outweigh the costs, and by how much.

Feasibility Study

Determine whether alternative solutions will satisfy customer requirements. Use the template to rank and score each alternative solution to determine its overall feasibility. [Learn more about the Feasibility Study template]

Risk Management Plan

Identifies potential risks, estimate impacts, and define responses to issues. It also contains a risk assessment matrix. The Risk Management Plan captures likely risks with high and low impact, as well as mitigation strategies should problems arise. Review risk management plans periodically to ensure relevance. [Learn more about the Risk Management Plan template]

System Boundary Document

Use this System Boundary Document template (SBD) to establish the boundaries of an information technology (IT) project. Capture the goals and objectives that the IT project is intended to satisfy. [Learn more about the System Boundary Document template]

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

Defines in detail the roles, authority, responsibility, skills, and capacity requirements for all project tasks needed to complete the project. The agency and contractor responsibilities are addressed in the RAM. [Learn more about the RAM template]

Planning Phase

In the Planning phase, you need to write the following documents:

Acquisition Plan

Identifies how and when the required resources will be obtained. [Learn more about the Acquisition Plan template]

Change Management

Details how project changes will be monitored and controlled from project inception through completion. [Learn more about the Change Management Plan template]

Communications Plan

Describes the processes required to ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval, and disposition of project information. [Learn more about the Communications Plan template]

Configuration Management Plan

Provide guidelines to manage source code, software builds, build environment and define how to add new components to builds. [Learn more about the Configuration Management Plan template]

Project Plan

Documents the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate and coordinate planning activities. The Project Plan defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. Update throughout the course of the project. [Learn more about the Project Plan template]

Quality Management Plan

Identify the relevant quality standards and determine how those standards will be satisfied for the project. [Learn more about the Quality Management Plan template]

Risk Management

Details how teams will identify, manage, and mitigate project related risks. Describe how to identify and quantify typical project risks; rate the Likelihood, Impact and Priority of each risk, and the preventative and contingent actions needed to reduce the likelihood of each risk occurring. [Learn more about the Risk Management Plan template]

Scope of Work

Documents the scope of a project and its business case with the high-level requirements, benefits, business assumptions, alternatives analysis, and program costs and schedules. The Scope Statement is used as a baseline and input into the Change Control process for any changes to the project during the lifecycle. [Learn more about  the Scope of Work template]

Security Plan

Scope, approach, and resources required to assure system security. [Learn more about the Security Plan template]

Verification and Validation Plan

Determines if a systems or component satisfies operational and system requirements. Verification and Validation Plan requirements provide direction for software developers to gauge the progress of a program and determine if operational requirements meet to Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) and Capability Development Document (CDD). [Learn more about this Verification and Validation Plan template]

Requirements Analysis Phase

The purpose of the Requirements Analysis Phase is to transform requirements specified in earlier phases into unambiguous, traceable, complete, consistent, and stakeholder-approved requirements.

The Requirements Analysis Phase involves:

  • Defining the approved requirements
  • Creating the System Requirements Document and Requirements Traceability Matrix
  • Developing test activities
  • Approval to progress to the Design Phase

In the Requirements Analysis phase, you need to write the following documents:

Business Rules

Define business rules to perform a business task. Use business rules to allocate resources, calculate forecasts, determine variances, or find key performance indicators. Create business rules to run queries, seed data, or move balances from one period to another. Scheduled or run business rules directly. [Learn more about the Business Rule template]

Concept of Operations

Describes the characteristics of the proposed system from the users’ perspectives. Outline the system’s functional requirements, including, but not limited to: functional requirements, data requirements, system interface requirements, and non-functional requirements. [Learn more about the Concept of Operations template]

Business Requirements Document

Use this Business Requirements Specification template (MS Word 24 pages) to capture the current and future needs of your business. Business Analysts use this to captures WHAT is required so that Software Developers then take these requirements and determine HOW these needs are to be met. This template pack includes a 24-page Business Requirements Specification, Use Case, Requirements Traceability Matrix and Data Model templates in Microsoft Word, Excel and Visio. [Learn more about this template]

Functional Requirements Document

Defines the system inputs, processes, outputs and interfaces. Use different techniques to collect and represent the functional requirements depending on the type of project and customer. [Learn more about Functional Requirements template]

Interface Control Document

Describes the interface(s) to a system or subsystem, inputs and outputs of a single system, or interface between two systems or subsystems. Document the relationship between system components in terms of data items and messages passed, protocols observed and timing and sequencing of events. Interface Control Documents (ICD) are a key element of systems engineering as they define and control the interface(s) of a system, and thereby bound its requirements. [Learn more about this template]

Requirements Traceability Matrix

A table that links requirements to their origins and traces them throughout the project life cycle. Developing the RTM helps to ensure that each requirement adds business value and that approved requirements are delivered. [Learn more about this template]

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

Defines in detail the roles, authority, responsibility, skills, and capacity requirements for all project tasks needed to complete the project. SBE and contractor responsibilities are addressed in the RAM. [Learn more about this template]

Test Master Plan

Documents the scope, content, methodology, sequence, management of, and responsibilities for test activities. Based on the FRD’s Requirements Traceability Matrix and includes the planned test activities to address user requirements including the levels of tests that take place during development: integration, system, and UAT, and planning. It describes the milestones, schedules, and resources needed to support testing. Use this Test Plan template (29 page MS Word) to document the strategy that will be used to verify and ensure that a software product or system meets its design specifications and other requirements. It will help you define Release Criteria, identify Test Deliverables, prepare Budget Costs and describe the test environment to be used for the testing. [Learn more about the Test Plan template]

Work Breakdown Structure

Defines all project activities from planning to implementation. Primary input source for the development and execution of the Project Schedule and timelines. [Learn more about this template]

Vision

Defines the high-level scope and purpose of a program, product, or project. Outlines the problem, proposed solution, and high-level features to establish expectations and reduce risks.

Use Cases

Defines a sequence of actions that yields an observable result of value. The use case provides a structure to express functional requirements within the context of business and system processes. You can diagram and/or document use case scenarios. 9 MS Visio templates. 29-page tutorial, and free Excel Data Dictionary. [Learn more about the Use Case templates]

Design Phase

In the Design phase, you need to write the following documents:

Bill of Materials

Use this BOM template pack (MS Word & Excel) to list the parts for building a product, including software application, infrastructure equipment and physical buildings. [Learn more about this template]

Business Rules

Define specific aspects of your business. Business rules clarify the appropriate action that needs to be taken and removes any ambiguity regarding the correct course of action that must be followed. Business rules describe how company policies or practices apply to a specific business activity. As you model your business processes, you can capture business rules as separate elements and weave them into your process flows. [Learn more about this template]

Conversion Plan

Use this Conversion Plan template (19 page MS Word template) to document your conversion types, security , strategy, data conversion , tasks, planning, and conversion requirements. Describes strategies to convert data from one system to another hardware or software environment. [Learn more about this template]

Disaster Recovery Plan

Requirements designed to restore operability of system, applications due to any extended interruption of the agency’s business services. 32 page DR plan with Impact Analysis, Damage Assessment & Reports. Document the process, policies and procedures to prepare for recovery or continuation of services following a disaster. [Learn more about DR Plan template]

Implementation Plan

Describes how to deploy and install the system into an operational environment. Provides an overview of the system, description of the major implementation tasks, resources required to support the implementation (such as hardware, software, facilities, materials, and personnel), and site-specific implementation requirements. Update during the Development Phase. [Learn more about this template]

Maintenance Manual

Documents the system procedures required to install, configure and support the system. Created during design phase, revised during construction and test phases, and finalized in the implementation phase. This template contains emergency response procedures; backup arrangements, procedures, and responsibilities; and post-disaster recovery procedures and responsibilities. [Learn more about this template]

Operations Manual

Provides System Admins and computer operators with a operational description of the system and its associated environments. Document procedures and information required run a system, product or application. Includes scheduled operations, tasks, troubleshooting, audits, tables, charts, and matrices for monitoring, backups, scheduling. [Learn more about this Operations Manual template]

System Design Document

Defines the construct details of each of the system components and interaction with other components and external systems including interfaces. Provides a system architecture of the components of a program or system, their interrelationships and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time. [Learn more about this template]

Software Development Plan

Use this Software Development Plan template to gather all information required to manage the project. It captures a number of artifacts developed during the Inception phase and is maintained throughout the software development project. [Learn more about this template]

System Administration Manual

Provides System Admin personnel and computer operators with a detailed description of the system and its associated environments, such as operations and procedures. [Learn more about this template]

Training Plan

Identifies the users and how they will be trained to use the new product. Generally required for large projects. [Learn more about this template]

User Manual

Provides the information necessary to use the system. Typically described are system or component capabilities, limitations, options, inputs, expected outputs, error messages, and special instructions. [Learn more about this template]

Development Phase

In the Development phase, you need to write the following documents:

Contingency Plan

Identifies emergency response procedures; backup arrangements, procedures, and responsibilities; and post-disaster recovery procedures and responsibilities. Ensures that systems can recover from processing disruptions in the event of emergencies or large-scale disasters. Contingency Plans are synonymous with disaster and emergency plans. [Learn more about this template]

Conversion Plan

Describes the strategies and approaches for migrating data from the existing system(s). [Learn more about this template]

Implementation Plan

Define all planned activities to ensure successful implementation into production operations. [Learn more about this template]

Integration Document

Describes how the software components, hardware components, or both are combined and their interactions. [Learn more about this template]

Software Development Document

Documents the development of each unit or module, including test cases, software, test results, approvals, and any other items that explain the software functionality. [Learn more about this template]

Training Plan

Documents the technical and user training needed on the new systems. [Learn more about this template]

Test Phase

In the Test phase, you need to write the following documents:

Acceptance Test Plan

Describes the test process, procedures and tools to ensure that software packages meet their requirements. [Learn more about the Acceptance Test Plan template]

Implementation Phase

In the Implementation phase, you need to write the following documents:

Release Notes

Summarizes the current release; typically includes new features and changes and identifies known problems and workarounds. [Learn more about the Release Notes template]

Standard Operating Procedures

Documents the details of the business processes related to the operations and maintenance of the systems. [Learn more about this template]

Deployment Plan

Describes how to deploy and install the system. Contains an overview of the system, description of the major tasks involved in the implementation, resources needed to support the implementation effort (i.e. hardware, software, facilities, materials, and personnel), and site-specific implementation requirements. [Learn more about this template]

Disposition Phase

In the Disposition phase, you need to write the following documents:

Disposition Plan

Describes the requirements to dispose of the current system. Identifies how to terminate the system/data, when to terminate, dispose and preserve system components and equipment. [Learn more about this template]

Post-Termination Review Report

Documents the Disposition Phase Review findings and lessons learned from closing and archiving the terminated system; identifies the repository for all archived products and documentation.

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500+ pages

Includes FREE Data Dictionary and Requirements Traceability Matrix

 

These are the templates you need for documenting a Software Development project, especially when using the Waterfall methodology.

Need week, we will look at what you need for other SDLC methodologies, such as Agile and RUP.

40 Ways To Cost Your Next Software Technical Documentation

How much does it cost to write a user guide? One way to estimate the price is to ask your customer about the software project and gather the technical and user requirements. Once you have this, you can determine how long the project will take, what resources are required and who needs to be involved in writing the documents.

Why Create a Software Documentation Requirements Checklist?

This checklist helps you understand the scope of work for your next technical writing software project. With this information, you can prepare a cost estimate and supply the Customer with a quote.

General documentation requirements

1. Documentation Format

How do you want the documents delivered? For example, do you want?

  • Online only
  • Printed only
  • Printed and online

2. Documentation Types

What type of documents do you want created? For example, do you want:

3. Existing Documentation

Do you have an existing document set that we can build upon or are we starting form scratch?

If Yes, what percentage is valid?

4. Other Information sources

Are there other sources of information that we can used in the documentation?

5. Training Requirements

Will users need training to use the documents?

6. Sample Data

Do we need to create sample data? Or can you supply examples of dummy data at the start of the project.

7. Style Guides

Do you have a style guide that must be followed? How to select the right style guide?

8. Localization

Will the documentation be localized?

9. Translations

Will the documentation be translated into other languages?

10. Outsource Firms

Are you outsourcing other parts of your documentation to other firms?

11. Glossary of Terms

Is there a glossary of terms or industry terms specific to your product?

12. Operating Systems

What OS does your software run on?

  • Windows (version)
  • Apple Mac
  • Linux
  • Others (specify)

13. Software

What is the purpose of the software you need to be documented?

14. Screens

Approximate number of unique screens:

16. Master Copy

Is a final version of the software available for documentation?

17. If not, specify the:

  • Level of completion:
  • Estimated completion:

19. Hardware

Is specialized hardware needed to use the software?

20. Third-party software

Is Third-party software needed to use the software?

21. User Types

Are there different types of user, for example, system administrator, operators, end-users etc?

23. Users’ Proficiency

Does the user need previous experience to use the software?

24. Computer literacy

Choose all that apply:

  • No experience
  • Basic IT literacy
  • Competent
  • Advanced

25. Issues

What are the main problems users have with the software?

26. Task Analysis

Has task analysis on user needs been performed?

27. Task Priority

Are the tasks clearly identified?

31. Online Documentation

What online formats do you want?

  • Adobe Air
  • WinHelp
  • HTML
  • WebHelp
  • Adobe PDF
  • Other:

32. Authoring Tools

Do you have a preferred authoring tool?

33. Context Sensitive Help

Do you required context-sensitive help, for example, when you click F1 or Help to open get help?

34. Printed documents

Do you want us to supply printed documents?

36. File Format

What source file format is required (Word, PDF, other)?

37. Budget

What is the budget for the project?

38. Additional comments

Please share any other information that will help us evaluate your documentation project.

About the Author: Ivan Walsh is a London-based technical writer who specializes in documenting plans, guides and manuals. You can download his Technical Writing Template Kit here and also his Software Development LifeCycle templates with free Word and Excel templates here.

5 Golden Rules of Capitalization in Software Documentation

How do you spell Yahoo? Most of us spell it like we say it, which is wrong… It’s Yahoo! not Yahoo. Why is this important? From one angle, it isn’t but if you want your documents to look professional, then you need to understand when and where to capitalize words.

Where to start with CapitalizationThe Golden Rules of Capitalization in Technical Documents

How developers use capitalization in their Use Case and User Manuals creates problems for editors, reviewers, and of course users. Or should that be Users?. Part of the problem is a lack of guidelines and style guides.

What you think looks fine break some style guide rule you were unaware of.

My favorite example is Microsoft.

When it started out, it was MicroSoft. Then it changed the uppercase S to a lowercase s.

This creates other problems with legacy documents or international materials, for example, business documents for Japanese readers?

5 Guidelines for Capitalization

In general, use capitalization rules whenever possible – for example, common nouns are usually all lowercase and proper nouns are capitalized.

  1. Never use all uppercase letters for emphasis.
  2. Follow the capitalization rules of software as necessary, as in case-sensitive keywords.
  3. Do not capitalize the spelled-out form of an acronym unless specified otherwise.
  4. Avoid over-capitalization.
  5. Check the Style Guide.

Capitalization in the User Interface

Microsoft recommends the following capitalization rules for interface elements:

  • Menu names, command and command button names, and dialog box titles and tab names: Follow the interface. Usually, these items use title caps. If the interface is inconsistent, use title caps.
  • Dialog box elements: Follow the interface. Newer style calls for these items to use sentence caps. If the interface is inconsistent, use sentence caps.
  • Functional elements: Capitalize the names of functional elements that do not have a label in the interface, such as toolbars (the Standard toolbar) and toolbar buttons (the Insert Table button).
  • Do not capitalize interface elements used generically, such as toolbar, menu, scroll bar, and icon.
  • The Golden Rules of Capitalization in Technical Documents Do not capitalize unless it is case-sensitive.

Other examples

When it comes to caps – or should that be capitalization – I see these everywhere.

For example:

Is it web site or Web Site or Website?

Is it the Bible of The Bible?

The Day of the Jackal or The day of the Jackal

What Color Is Your Parachute?  or What Color is your Parachute?         

A Tale of Two Cities or A Tale Of Two Cities

What other examples can you think of?