This document supports the interest of system users in having consistent, complete, accurate, and usable information. It addresses both available approaches to standardization: a) process standards, which specify the way that information products are to be acquired and supplied; and b) information product standards, which specify the characteristics and functional requirements of the information.
As defined in ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, the acquisition and supply activities make up the agreement processes of the software or system life cycle. Acquisition and supply of information for users and related services are specializations of those processes. Such services can be acquired and supplied for any part of the information management process, such as the following:
- information management;
- information design and development;
- information editing and review coordination;
- information testing, particularly usability testing;
- information production and packaging;
- information distribution and delivery;
- advice on the selection and implementation of information development tools and supporting systems; and
- information development process improvement.
This document provides an overview of the information management processes that are relevant to the acquisition and supply of information for users. It applies the Agreement processes (acquisition and supply) to information for users, and addresses the preparation of requirements for this information. These requirements are central to the information for users specification and statement of work discussed in this document. This document also addresses requirements for primary document outputs of the acquisition and supply process: the request for proposal and the proposal for documentation products and services.
This document is intended for use in acquiring or supplying any type of information for users and is independent of information development or management tools or methodologies.
This document might be helpful for acquiring and supplying the following types of information, although it does not cover all aspects of them:
- multimedia systems using animation, video, and sound;
- computer-based training (CBT) packages and specialized course materials intended primarily for use in formal training programs;
- maintenance documentation describing the internal operation of systems software;
- collaboratively generated, often known as wiki, documentation, which will usually need to be curated periodically; and
- information for users incorporated into the user interface.
This document is applicable to acquirers and suppliers of information for users, including a variety of specialists:
- analysts (e.g., business analysts, human factors engineers) who identify the tasks that the intended users will perform with the system;
- managers of the software or system development process or the information management process;
- managers of the acquisition process, and those who authorize and approve acquisitions; and
- managers and authors involved in proposal preparation.
It can also be consulted by those with other roles and interests in the information development process:
- information designers and architects who plan the structure, format, and content requirements of information products;
- experienced authors and editors who develop the written content for information for users;
- graphic designers with expertise in electronic media;
- user interface designers and ergonomics experts working together to design the presentation of the information on the screen;
- usability testers, information development reviewers, technical contacts;
- developers of tools for creating on-screen information for users.