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Alex Ashley

operations Keeping Documentation Updated

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Alex Ashley

Morning,

I was taking a look through the downloads section this morning, and I was surprised to see how much documentation has been left out of date, or has now been superseded by newer information on the website (e.g. the Gatwick Pilot Brief). While it is indeed true that some documentation won't need updating unless there is a major change (e.g. the METAR decoding guide), having up to date documentation in other areas will help members significantly in my opinion.

There are several ways this issue could be mitigated, possibly starting with the removal of 'obsolete' documentation which has been superseded by newer documentation, either in the same place or somewhere else on VATSIM UK. In addition to this, the Operations Department could post a list of documentation that is 'outdated' and that needs updating in its section of the forums, inviting members to update it.

I am sure this will be mutually beneficial for many members. There has been some great work done already with regards to keeping documentation updated and hopefully this could help supplement those systems that are already in place.

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Louie Lister

Good shout Alex, It would be rather useful to see some more updated documents.

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Don Fraser

Regarding SIDS and STARS re Airport page. I mentioned this recently and offered to help out but it seems to have gone on deaf ears!

Someone should be delegated to look after certain sections and updated when necessary including revision number and date. When they leave or loose interest it should be handed to another volunteer. 

It seems a lot of effort goes into producing the  necessary documents, but then get forgotten, until months or years later.

Don

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Anastasios Mpithas

Maybe we could implement the documents on GitHub, so people can contribute, it will be easier for everyone to participate, update or create documentation!

Edited by Anastasios Mpithas

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Alex Hodgkinson
43 minutes ago, Don Fraser said:

Someone should be delegated to look after certain sections and updated when necessary including revision number and date. When they leave or loose interest it should be handed to another volunteer.

I'm sure this is what the "Operations" department was for @Chris Pawley?

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Alex Ashley
29 minutes ago, Anastasios Mpithas said:

Maybe we could implement the documents on GitHub, so people can contribute, it will be easier for everyone to participate, update or create documentation!

GitHub is more of a platform for use with regards to code. For documentation the current solution, Google Drive, would most likely be ideal.

50 minutes ago, Don Fraser said:

Regarding SIDS and STARS re Airport page. I mentioned this recently and offered to help out but it seems to have gone on deaf ears!

I asked the Operations Department recently if I could assist with updating some pages of the website, of which my offer was taken. A ticket is the way to go ;) 

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Don Fraser

I hate this ticket lark. I have done this before and it got kicked into touch just because someone didn't like the idea.  No discussion.

I prefer to put on the forum, open for all to see and possibly others will reply with better solutions.  

Well  if Ops don't like the idea their loss.

Don

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Anastasios Mpithas
57 minutes ago, Alex Ashley said:

GitHub is more of a platform for use with regards to code. For documentation the current solution, Google Drive, would most likely be ideal.

Agree, however in Google Drive it will be difficult to a)Add issues  b)drafts for reviews etc.

I am sure there is a platform-app out there that is designed for this purpose.

That was a great suggestion Alex ;)

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Alex Ashley
1 minute ago, Anastasios Mpithas said:

Agree, however in Google Drive it will be difficult to a)Add issues  b)drafts for reviews etc.

I am sure there is a platform-app out there that is designed for this purpose.

That was a great suggestion Alex ;)

Google Drive supports comments and also the creation of draft editions :D

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Neil Farrington
1 hour ago, Alex Ashley said:

GitHub is more of a platform for use with regards to code. For documentation the current solution, Google Drive, would most likely be ideal.

There has actually been discussion in the past of converting documentation into markdown to help with formatting and consistency between documents, which could be sourced from a git repository for version control and collaboration, if that's the path we wanted to take.

As you might expect, the number of documents we originally had used to be quite small and manageable, and over the years we have created many more, although we haven't necessarily developed new procedures to account for the increased number of documents. Having the operations department has helped, however it should be noted that Operations is primarily responsible for ATC and pilot documentation, rather than all documentation, so addressing any issues at this level wouldn't necessarily resolve the issues for the entirety of the documentation we hold.

The are a few aspects we can explore in relation to developing our procedures relating to documentation. To a certain extent, conforming to ISO 9001 (which sets out requirements for document management and control, outlined at http://www.qualitysystems.com/support/resources/control-of-documents) would likely help to organise and arrange our documents into a manageable state. For example, keeping a register of documents would help track responsibility and allow identification of when it was last updated or reviewed, or which documents it has superseded. This basically builds upon what @Don Fraser was saying (https://community.vatsim.uk/topic/34367-keeping-documentation-updated/?do=findComment&comment=311653).

The other aspect is community involvement, and how members can go about offering their own knowledge and assistance. At the moment, a member wishing to update some documentation needs to go through the Helpdesk, which isn't necessarily a bad process, but it can seem a bit disconnected and it isn't necessarily easy to convey what needs to be updated, and to what. Using Google Drive could help solve part of this, however it does then raise questions of converting our Microsoft Office documents to Drive format, and whether Drive offers all the features we need to be able to produce quality documentation.

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Alex Hodgkinson
On 13/05/2017 at 18:10, Neil Farrington said:

The are a few aspects we can explore in relation to developing our procedures relating to documentation. To a certain extent, conforming to ISO 9001 (which sets out requirements for document management and control, outlined at http://www.qualitysystems.com/support/resources/control-of-documents) would likely help to organise and arrange our documents into a manageable state. For example, keeping a register of documents would help track responsibility and allow identification of when it was last updated or reviewed, or which documents it has superseded.

You really do not want to be going down this road to manage documentation for a hobby. I have to manage documentation (both hard and soft) to this standard and it is a severe administrative burden. It is typical for my job at the end of the month to have in excess of 10 - 15 logbooks that require updating, signing, sighting by a second person and then auditing by a third person each month. It is a [auto-mod: lovely language] ball ache.

It will leave our documentation in a worse state by using ISO 9001 as a framework for our document management.

I've just quickly scanned the downloads section of our website and there is a vast amount of documents available for download. My first question would be are they all necessary?

Typically a "Book of Reference" or BR in my organisation for a large system or long winded procedure is in excess of 1000 pages. However, hyperlinks and chapters are used so that you can go directly to the section you need. There isn't an individual download for each chapter; its in one book, with one title and you find the section you need and it links straight to it. Check out "BR3" for an example.

Why does one RTS need an individual download for each airports cheat sheet? Can't you put them into one document and then hyper link them?

With the introduction of moodle, do we still need documents like "How to deal with maydays" or "METAR Decoding Guide" - Isn't this available in the moodle course? There are many documents that are listed under "ATC Training Material" that I'm certain could be incorporated into moodle. 

Edited by Alex Hodgkinson

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Lewis Hardcastle

A wiki or github style method would work for easy updating. Maybe also the Google way since the division uses it widely anyway.

We'll never go wrong if you keep it easy, focus on collaboration and make it simple for folks to update :)

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