Documentation plans–Front matter

The front matter includes the title page, a table of contents, and a change log.

The title page includes the book or document’s title, the last revision date (so people know which version of the plan this is), and the contact information for the lead writer(s) on the project.

The table of contents lists the various sections. A good documentation plan can be as many as 25 pages, particularly if you have a very detailed outline. I have occasionally done documentation plans for books that include resumes for me and my co-author at the very end as well, which also adds some bulk.

The change log lists every change you make to the plan so you can maintain your project history. Make an entry in your change log that describes what the change was and when you made it. You should also update the last revision date on the title page. Keep your project editor and other staff informed of whenever you’ve made a significant change to the plan as well. (This is a level of project management that most project editors appreciate in an author.) Trivial changes should be logged but you don’t need to re-release the documentation plan just because you added a few words to a description.

If this documentation plan requires approval, you may also want to have a signoff form on the front saying that the person has read the plan and approves it.

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