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  1. Proposal writing
  2. Project Planning
  3. Software suite selection
  4. Environment Setup
  5. Customize ETM/IETM Software tools
  6. Authoring support
  7. Integration and delivery

VDL-5 Technologies has a team of experienced managers and authors that are ready to help you write a winning Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM) proposal, setup an IETM authoring environment, support or supplement your technical writers and help you organize and deliver your IETM on time and within budget.

Proposal Writing

The first step is developing a winning proposal. At VDL-5 we have experience in reviewing and interpreting Requests For Proposals (RFPs) and Contract Data Requirements Lists (CDRLs), identifying all the IETM requirements, developing a Statement of Work (SOW) and compiling a price list that can be dropped into your proposal. We can also provide a write up for our company experience and for our technical team expertise that can be added to bolster your proposal.

Our pricing includes detail that fits in with DCAA requirements for project estimates and cost tracking schedule during the project.

Project Planning

The first step in an enterprise level development of technical manuals is planning the project. With a solid plan defined at project startup technical manual issues can be anticipated and minimized in order to reduce impact on schedule and cost. The project planning includes analysis of your current authoring workflow, what adjustments need to be made to work with authoring software and what customizations need to be made in software tools to support your internal business and customer requirements. We can also do an industry survey to find authoring software to fit your needs.

Our services cover:

  • Identifying project startup technical manual issues
  • Analysis of authoring workflow
  • Required adjustments to fit mil-specs, software tool usage
  • Selection of software tools to support authoring

Software Suite Selection

If the RFP did not define the software suite to use for your IETM development we will conduct an analysis phase to help select authoring tools and deployable viewers to support your project. The analysis would include reviews of the RFP requirements, the current tools available that meet the RFP specifications, a survey of what tools are most commonly used by your customer, what authoring tools you already use and the budget available for purchasing software. Based on this input the requirements will identified and used to select a software suite that will fit your authoring environment, support your delivery schedule and fit within your budget.

Environment Setup

Starting on a new authoring project using the latest software can be a challenge even for an experienced technical writing team. For companies who are new to enterprise technical content development which involves Content Management Systems (CMS), business rule development, and work flow definition the team at VDL-5 Technologies can help you navigate these technical challenges. We can provide a helping hand starting with project planning, software selection, standards and content assessment and provide help in setup, content creation and integration tasks during the project lifecycle.

After completion of the project planning, there will be a setup phase to prepare your team for content development. VDL-5 Technologies has experience in helping authoring teams work with new software and fit the software setup to their project specific requirements.

Setup can include any or all of the following items:

  • Define Authoring workflow, integration with illustration, production and quality assurance groups for your IETM team
  • Setup Authoring stations for writers, setup review stations for QA
  • Setup IETM Content Management and Publishing software
  • Author Training for IETM software
  • Training for basic IETM concepts

Customize ETM/IETM Software Tools

VDL-5 provides some basic software services that reduce costs and help your team in meeting their deadlines. Basic software services can include scripts to clean up XML files, check for basic errors in XML, startup menus for installation and use of ETMs and IETMs, customization of your authoring software and other basic functions that reduces your costs.

Authoring Support

During the technical content development, issues may arise that require vendor support and/or workarounds. VDL-5 Technologies can provide support in developing workarounds for issues and following up with the software vendors to get a fix implemented. In addition, VDL-5 can answer technical questions and help keep your authoring environment tuned up and running smoothly during the content development.

Integration and Delivery

Using an enterprise type of software for content development can cause integration issues to rise up when pulling together the content for a delivery. For example, a technical manual delivered as an IETM and PDF using common XML source may need to be integrated with 3rd party Computer Based Training (CBT), link to data packages within the manual, require an import of a parts data list, require an installation package and testing and integration with an IETM viewer. VDL-5 has experience in integrating a diverse set of software, XML content, multimedia files, illustrations, parts data and other items into a cohesive, integrated IETM that is easy to install.

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