On-line help proposal

Subject: On-line help proposal
From: Denise Cusano <Denise_Cusano -at- CAPGROUP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 08:39:52 -0800

Greetings Techwhirlers!

Could you offer some words of wisdom in writing a proposal for on-line

For the past six months I've been trying to persuade my client to develop
on-line help for a large proprietary software app. Now they want to see a
proposal. My background is in Instructional Design, and have developed
only one small help project (100 topics, NOT context sensitive), and can't
really fathom a guess as to how long a project like this might take. I
also have no clue how long it takes a programmer to implement context
sensitive and field-level help.

I'd say that this application is about the size of one SAP R/3 module, and
about as complicated. About 75 process windows and another 50 display
windows. It's for in-house Portfolio Accounting, and the help project must
contain not only "how to use the application" but also "why would you
process a reversal/reentry of a dividend instead of just adjusting it," as
well as "how this transaction will affect other systems." You get the

I just helped the training team develop a 30-hour, instructor-led training
program, so I'm pretty familiar with how this app works. I want to be
realistic so there are no surprises, but I don't want to scare them off (so
far, they major obstacle has been "too cost prohibitive, too programmer
intensive" and "turnover is so minimal, that everyone will be a pro very
quickly"). Only a small group of accountants is using the app now, but it
is rolling out to a bigger group, and other applications interface with
this system, so non-users often have to access the application to research

IMHO, it's absurd to have an application this huge without help, but they
don't see it that way.

Thanks very much for the help!
Denise Cusano

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