ClickHelp Software Documentation Glossary: Definitions of Main Terms, Concepts

What Is Document Development Life Cycle (DDLC)?

Document Development Life Cycle (DDLC) is the systematic process of documentation development that has a cyclic order. It has the following aims: the creation of a smooth and efficient writing workflow and guidelines and, as a result, clear documentation for end-users.

In general, DDLC has the following phases:

  • Analyzing and planning. Technical writers analyze the requirements and audience, collect information about the product, contact SMEs, test a product or service.
  • Design. A suitable layout, style, and formatting are chosen to improve the performance of documentation.
  • Developing the content. At this stage, the content is written. Reviewers, editors, and other experts check the document to find mistakes and inconsistencies.
  • Publishing. Technical writers release the document. At the moment, online documentation prevails as it is easy to maintain and is always available.
  • Maintenance. Technical documentation is updated when the product or process described changes: a new product version may come to the market, or a new feature may appear.

ddlc phases

Some sources offer additional phases, but that mainly depends on each company’s special writing workflow, goals, and requirements. For example, translation and localization may be included in this process in case a team is working on documentation for the global market or vice versa for local ones. This post will tell you about what functionality ClickHelp can offer for translation management - ClickHelp June 2021 Rainbow Update Overview.

A well-planned DDLC will result in technical documentation that meets the expectations of all stakeholders as all the peculiarities of the writing process are taken into account. Guidelines and directions are the best sources of information for technical writers that work on documentation trying to make it compliant with standards.

For more information, check out our post - Document Development Life Cycle (DDLC) for Technical Writers.

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