Technical Manuals document specific instructions on product (In this
reference guide, the term "product" refers to the end item for which the
customer is paying. "Product" can range in size from a large intricate system
down through a subsystem, an equipment, or an item. For Government contract,
"product" could mean an entire weapons system, part of a weapons system, or a
non- military item. "Customer" can be either a Government or civilian
procuring agency. See the Glossary for definitions of these terms.) operation
and/or maintenance for the user. This template explains how technical manuals
are developed by using the output products of Logistics Support Analysis
(LSA). The essential elements of this process and how they work together are
shown in the associated graph. (see figure below) Each process step is
numbered and referenced by number in the explanatory text of this template.
This process shows how to control and direct the activities needed to produce
appropriate, useful, quality technical documentation in a timely and efficient
This template presents one approach to this complex process. Alternative
and/or additional steps may be needed or required depending on the particular
situation. The reader should consult any applicable directives to ensure
compliance with a particular contract.
This discussion deals primarily with maintenance manuals. How-ever, this
process applies to operations manuals as well.
All user tasks, either to operate or maintain a product, should be clearly
and concisely detailed in a technical manual. The more complex the tasks, the
greater the detail of the documentation. Also, the product maintenance and
diagnostics concepts define the scope and depth of the user tasks and how much
maintenance documentation is required. Human factors and design safety
considerations determine the level of detail of the documentation.
The LSA data base identifies and captures the specific, required user
tasks. These tasks, and their associated procedural steps, are the root data
for compiling comprehensive manuals. A technical manual plan defines the
structure of the documentation, while technical manual outlines provide a
detailed listing of the contents of specific manuals.
The customer can monitor manual development by reviewing the outline and
the material in process. Also, formal validation and verification of the
manuals determine accuracy and adequacy.
Today's products require technical manuals for safe and effective use.
Inadequate operations and maintenance documentation can result in:
Waste of manpower
Loss of life.
Also, technical manuals provide the information needed for:
The creation of technical documentation requires committing sufficient
Even under ideal conditions, producing quality technical documentation
efficiently and timely is costly and challenging. Therefore, understanding
this process is very important.