eDOX is a highly-customized internal content management system (CMS) built on the Livelink platform. To describe the full range of the product as part of a risk mitigation project, I solicited and combined background information, business and financial processes, and system descriptions and procedures. This information included business practices for IRAs, brokerage accounts, and insurance; Livelink procedures, installation and updating processes for UNIX systems; and basic procedures and the most often performed steps for troubleshooting. To complete this document, I worked with business analysts and developers at all levels.
TradeWorks is an order-management system that was designed to eventually replace the existing Broker Booth Support System (BBSS) used by Member Firm Specialists on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The runbook described the configuration, daily processes, required steps, and troubleshooting used by administrators to maintain this mission-critical system. Most of the processes were UNIX based, although there were also ANT, SQL, DB2, and other systems in place to maintain this system.
The TradeWorks order-management system was to be expanded to include both orders and reports for Member Firm Specialists on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The General Design Specification (GDS) tracked the decisions that the Java J2EE developers made for updating the system with new capabilities and modules. All decisions were based on and tracked to the extensive requirements that the developers received from the NYSE. The GDS included extensive diagrams, programming notes, and information from JavaDocs, which were created by the developers.
Before the processes and procedures described in the TradeWorks Runbook, described above, could be executed, it was necessary to build a TradeWorks system within the IBM WebSphere application. This guide described the steps, resulting compiled programs, database structures, and troubleshooting steps required to start TradeWorks. Most of the processes were UNIX based, although other systems were also required.
After the 34 information security policies and standards were agreed upon, I combined and formatted them into a single compiled HTML help file (with a .chm extension) for use in finding and using information quickly.
The online information security compliance tool gathered information in 2317 questions in 617 sections over 34 policies and standards for more than 125 locations and branches. I specified and created (or had created) more than 20 reports displaying text and statistical output in areas such as compliance, completeness, evidence, responsibility, and audit findings.
The New York Information Risk Management Department developed the 34 guiding policies and standards that the international ING Wholesale bank approved to standardize their information security program. I researched and wrote specific policies (such as Data Classification, Risk Assessment and Management, Remote Access Services, Personnel, and Outside Party) and edited all policies and standards for completeness, consistency, and compliance with the international ISO 17799 Standard (Code of practice for information security management).
After the 34 policies and standards were approved by ING, the New York Information Risk Management Department specified and developed a web-based compliance program for tracking and reporting individual locations' compliance with the policies and standards and with the ISO 17799 Standard. The Methodology described how users answer questions based on the policies and standards, view their compliance score as a percentage, track deviations against policies, and develop remediation plans. Information from all locations rolled up, with standard reports and a user-defined reporting tool for managers at the regional and international levels.
As part of a weeklong orientation, this four-hour presentation familiarized new employees with the products and services that iNautix supplied to CSFBdirect (formerly DLJdirect), Pershing, and other financial and trading partners. It included a history of iNautix, described the users for which iNautix developed systems, showcased the award-winning web- and Windows-based applications, and outlined the architecture and technologies that iNautix used. The printed material summarized the customers and offered details on the complete product list for later reference.
In addition to the CSFBdirect web sites and Windows-based software for private investors, CSFBdirect developed CSFBdirect Institutional, a Windows-based tool for Registered Investment Analysts (RIAs). Written in RoboHelp for Windows, this complete context-sensitive online help system described the advanced trading capabilities as well as the reporting and control tools available to investment professionals.
The new accounts payable system was diagramed and described for presentation to managers and individuals who used the services of the Purchasing Department. The Process Assurance Department at iNautix required the Purchasing Department to use the same methodology as that required for developers.
iNautix developed an efficient proprietary messaging protocol to standardize communications between its web, Windows, mainframe, telephony, and wireless processes. This document collected valuable information about the protocol, described its layout, and detailed its use. It contained a general description of the protocol and offered best-practice examples for its use by developers in all areas.
iNautix made significant investments in systems technology and implemented fully redundant technology centers in two cities in New Jersey . These facilities supported systems, network services, trading, and backup capabilities between the two locations. This document outlined the systems for moderately technical individuals at corporations who were considering using iNautix for application development or hosting.
This style guide described the appearance and prescribed some content for documentation at iNautix and for presentations outside iNautix. The guide was regularly updated with new information, vocabulary, and standards, and was regularly invoked to answer questions of style, formatting, and content. The Word template was widely adopted and recognized as the standard for preparing written materials.
These end-user guides are designed to be attractive and easy to understand. They include careful step by step instructions with many screen-prints to avoid misunderstandings. Titles include “Windows NT Omni Build Quick Start Guide,” “Documentation Management System (DMS) Quick Start Guide,” “Using the New Presentation Template,” “TravelPak Quick Start Guide,” “Outlook 97 E-mail and Attachments,” “Outlook 97 Address Books and Distribution Lists,” “Outlook 97 E-mail Receipts,” “Using a Laptop in the Office,” “Using a Laptop Without a Network Connection,” “Using a Laptop With a Network Connection,” “Installing a Printer Driver on Your Laptop,” “D&B Desktop Solutions Quick Start Guide,” “Investext Research Bank Web Quick Start Guide,” and “Disclosure Global Access Quick Start Guide.” These guides are heavily formatted as saddle-stitched booklets, and were quickly written to fulfill specific needs.
In addition to the end-user guides described above, developers require system documentation for network-based third-party applications that Credit Suisse make available to analysts. These guides describe the system configuration, file names and permissions, installation procedures, testing and escalation procedures when problems occur, and general background information. These guides are available for ADP Power Partner, Disclosure Global Access, Securities Data Corporation, Factset, and Dow Jones News services.
The “newslet” is an intranet-based news delivery system for Dow Jones clients. This guide, designed as a brochure, serves as both a marketing tool and as step-by-step instructions to start using the system. The guide was designed to be visually inviting and also contain technical information for users at different levels.
Written in conjunction with the Getting Started Guide , this online help system completely describes the capabilities for the Java-based “newslet.” Written with RoboHelp, this online help includes pop-up help and extensive indexing.
As part of an on-going process, this document tracked the changes, suggestions, and bug-fixes that were made to the user interface and technical specifications that made up the “newslet” news delivery system. Both marketing and programming staff used this document to clarify issues and make decisions about the development of the product.
The Brokerage Information System (BIS) is J&H's proprietary financial system for client and account billing. The four-hour Management Training Seminar is a graphic overview of the system, describing its capabilities and the benefits to be gained from using the system consistently. It was designed for insurance brokerage branch, department, and client managers. The Reports Guide , which makes up the final portion of the seminar, documents more than 100 of the most important financial reports that managers can use to control their business.
Johnson & Higgins plans on using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to automatically transmit information from J&H's AS/400-based policy management system to the Chubb insurance company's various rating systems. The documentation requires a high level of understanding of both insurance systems.
The Resource Tracking System (RTS) is J&H's time and expenses system used to determine account profitability. The project required both my system analysis skills and user-interface advice for successful completion and rollout. The major documentation consists of the online help, written with Doc-To-Help, and is distributed to branches with the LAN- and PC-based application software. The Getting Started guide is distributed to new employees.
Updates to J&H's various PC- and AS/400-based proprietary systems require short notes that describe changes to the system. A simple change, such as a new code, requires a quick note. A more complex change that affects multiple systems or a number of changes in a single release requires a longer note. All release notes are electronically distributed and timed to arrive before the changes are instituted.
This major change to the Johnson & Higgins policy tracking system required a special release note since it introduced an online statement of values for insurance policies. The note described the major changes to the property component of the system, as well as the smaller changes required throughout this system. I also wrote a special training packet for this release.
These sales brochures required a high level of product knowledge, professional photography, an attractive layout, clever writing, and glossy production to reach their intended market. They were produced in PageMaker with photos manually stripped in.
After Nematron was spun off from its parent company, I produced IPO reports and quarterly financial reports with legally required company information. These reports were produced in PageMaker with photos traditionally stripped in.
Based on the success of several lectures in my technical writing class at Washtenaw Community College , I was invited by the local division of a Fortune 500 company to teach 20 mechanical engineers the basics of technical writing. The classes took three mornings; they covered planning to write, using the active voice, and editing your own writing. I also reviewed basic grammar and punctuation rules. I received high ratings from the engineers.
For the new hardware and firmware releases of Nematron's enhanced industrial workstations, I created completely new user's guides. These user's guides feature advanced technical information, step-by-step installation and operation instructions, complete information about the screen generation utility, and reference information about Nematron's industrialized BASIC programming language. The guides are designed to serve both first-time users and experienced programmers of plant-floor computers and programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
Designed to improve the city's perception of the Police Department, this 24-page report includes information about various police programs and emphasizes the department's community involvement. I assisted two police officers in designing, writing, and producing the Department's first annual report as a freelance writer and consultant.
To review advanced grammar and punctuation for college-age and returning students, I created “The Punc Club” handouts for my technical writing class. Each handout includes information and in-class exercises about one punctuation point and one element of grammar or writing.
The Nematron distributor newsletter, Nematron Insider , offers technical and sales information for Nematron's 200 worldwide distributors. It is four pages long. The Nematron user newsletter, NemaTRENDS , offers application stories, information about new hardware and software, and general industry automation news presented in a friendly and informative way. The quarterly NemaTRENDS newsletter is eight pages long and is printed in two colors on glossy stock. I wrote short articles and tips, edited articles, and produced both newsletters.
This paperback book describes applications for industrial computers and workstations, explains the elements for consideration in various environments, and helps readers select a hardware and software solution that fulfills their needs. The book is aimed at plant engineers who purchase factory automation equipment. While the book is designed to sell Nematron's equipment, the general information is widely applicable and transferable to most industrial interfaces. The PLC Insider , an often-critical automation industry newsletter, reported that the book “while heavily biased to Nematron equipment, is easy to browse and has some good information.”
This user's guide features advanced technical information, step-by-step installation and operation instructions, complete information about the screen generation utility, and reference information about Nematron's industrialized BASIC programming language.
This guide documents the technical information and capabilities of Nematron's simplest industrial workstation. Organized around a “getting started” chapter, which points to more detailed information in the rest of the guide, the document is intended for inexperienced users of industrial workstations and PLCs.
The data sheets are organized by product line. Each describes the physical characteristics, the technical information, and a few potential applications for the product line. The data sheets are aimed at engineers and purchasing agents who specify and purchase industrial computers.
This user's guide describes the steps necessary to build an economic model in the FAME (forecasting, analysis and modeling environment) Software language. This guide includes a basic economic modeling theory, command syntax, instructions for building databases, and an extensive example that predicts various costs and benefits for a model with twelve variables.
FAME Software offers a decision support solution that integrates data management, reporting, graphics, forecasting, modeling, and system building. FAME requires potential clients and new users to be familiar with shared files, linking multiple databases, time series, and mainframe database concepts. In a technical advertising or software primer style, this document illustrates FAME's capabilities with an extensively annotated terminal session.
This document describes and demonstrates techniques for generating reports with FAME. The guide teaches in a step-by-step method, offering plenty of reporting examples that users can imitate. The guide also contains information about general FAME capabilities including looping, statistical analysis, and efficient data management.
MenuSCREEN offers a menu-driven system for screening, analyzing, sorting, and reporting data from mainframe financial databases. The help screens were written to be context-sensitive and cover all possible topics that users might encounter during MenuSCREEN sessions.
The Fastock II data access system consists of a securities and dividends database and several access methods for creating graphs and reports. The user's guide contains descriptions of the data and examples of the graphs and reports. Winner of a Society for Technical Communication award.
I indexed and produced the two-page “Quick Index,” five-page “Special Characters Index,” and twenty-page “Full Index.”
The SCAN system is composed of two elements: a database of the 200 most widely used planning indicators and a quick method of creating standard reports and graphs for time series. The two elements were designed to allow planners and analysts to quickly locate trends for financial and economic situations. The user's guide suggests applications for the data and describes the graphing and reporting system. Winner of a Society for Technical Communication award.