Technical Writing: ProjectDox Software Documentation

Title: Using ProjectDox on Devices (A COVID-19 Rapid Development Project)

Audience: Internal Personnel and Customers (Architects, Construction Developers, and Homeowners)

My Role(s)/Contribution(s): Project Management, Technical Writing, Instructional Design

Primary Tool(s) Employed: Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Word, SnagIt

The ProjectDox munic­i­pal con­struc­tion and plan man­age­ment soft­ware from Avolve Systems is web-based and is used by per­son­nel from dozens of depart­ments with­in the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the State of Oregon and sim­i­lar orga­ni­za­tions more than a dozen oth­er states and cities. It is used by cus­tomers of var­i­ous city’s per­mit­ting enti­ties, includ­ing archi­tects, con­struc­tion devel­op­ers, gen­er­al con­trac­tors, and homeowners.

When COVID-19 forced the clo­sure of the Bureau of Development Services’ offices and customer-facing coun­ters, all of these people–internal and external–suddenly had to use ProjectDox, a sys­tem that had been in lim­it­ed test­ing but had not been planned for mass roll­out for anoth­er six months. Moreover, all these peo­ple had to be able to use ProjectDox from what­ev­er device they chose–a Windows com­put­er, a Mac lap­top, an iPhone or iPad, or an Android phone or tablet.

Seeing the need, I pro­posed, then project-managed and exe­cut­ed on the rapid devel­op­ment of soft­ware doc­u­men­ta­tion for each of the dif­fer­ent plat­forms. Managing a team of two oth­er instruc­tion­al design­ers, we built and deployed in less than two weeks nine sep­a­rate visu­al instruc­tion­al guides for installing, using, and trou­bleshoot­ing ProjectDox on Windows, Mac, iPad, and Android devices.