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