Once you grow beyond a few hundred customers using your software, it is challenging to keep everyone in your user community using the software in a consistent way. For many years we published a User Manual to guide our users. At least that is what we thought it would be used for. We realised, around ten years ago, that the manual was rarely used. So, we switched to Advice Sheets. These function specific, point by point, guide were an instant hit. Now, with more than 200 pages of Advice Sheets, they are more valuable than any manual could be.
By separating our documentation to be task specific, it is easier for us to publish new documentation. It is also easier for us to add to the suite. While there are some customer who prefer to call than find the answer for themselves, the Advice Sheet pool helps keep that to a minimum.
Comparing documentation, such as Advice Sheets, is a good way to compare software companies. The organisation and presentation of information in the documentation says something about the organisation of the software itself.