I am currently doing a breakdown of products for a piece of software. If I have the Software as a collective grouping should documents for the software be a collective grouping and then broken down further or would documents be individual products after the software grouping?

Example of what I have down so far

1.  Software
 1. Design Documents
  i.    UI Design
  ii.   Architecture Design
 2. Technical Documents
  i.    Pseudocode
 3. Requirements Documents
 4. End User Manuals
2.  Testing
 1. System Test Cases
3.  Hardware
 4. Training Documents
  1.    Training Plan

Thanks for the time and help.

  • Both options are possible, collective groupings are just a convenient way to group some products. It would help us if you could share (part of) the PBS you have so far.
    – Werner
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 8:03
  • Which way is more closely tied to the way the customer perceives value? (in my experience, documentation only has value when closely coupled with the software).
    – MCW
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 13:16
  • From what I have down so far would I be right in believing I shouldn't group the documents unless I have another collective grouping in mind for software.
    – Estra
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 13:44
  • Although mandatory to create and manage, Testing documents are not part of your deliverables. They are intermediate process documents. so you can probably get them off the list. Product is what customer pays and takes away (software, documents, training materials, etc). Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


Documents live and die by organization and relationship, so the hierarchical approach scales better. For example:

Earlier this year we made the AWS SDK developer guides available as GitHub repos (all found within the awsdocs organization) and invited interested parties to contribute changes and improvements in the form of pull requests.

Today we are adding over 138 additional developer and user guides to the organization, and we are looking forward to receiving your requests. You can fix bugs, improve code samples (or submit new ones), add detail, and rewrite sentences and paragraphs in the interest of accuracy or clarity. You can also look at the commit history in order to learn more about new feature and service launches and to track improvements to the documents.

Mind mapping would help as well:

A mind map is a visual representation of information. Now, that’s a very general definition and could encompass many different formats. With a mind map, you're diagramming related information. This graphic is a generic example of a mind map that shows how information is represented visually and how it branches. Using a mind map, you can move a main point into sub-points or vice versa, before you've written a word.

Mind Map Diagram Example


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