What does a task analysis entail?

The task analysis is imperative to the start of any structured authoring project.  Without a task analysis, you can easily overlook important steps in the user’s learning process.  You can also overlook important details about the background and knowledge that the user already has before reading the task topics you’re about to write.  Through a task analysis, you learn about what tasks the workers currently perform and how they perform them.  A task analysis will provide you with the following information:

What task topics to write

How much supporting conceptual and reference topics to write

After a task analysis is performed, you should be able to:

Understand what tasks users need to complete

Outline the steps it takes to perform each task

Many tech writers use DITA-aware IBM Information Architecture Workbench to do a task analysis.  Others simply use a spreadsheet or paper and pen