Creating a case study

Current phase:
The 2021 Season of Docs program finished on December 14, 2021. See timeline.

As part of the 2021 Season of Docs, organizations are required to submit a final evaluation and case study. Use our case study template and sample case study as guides to create your own project's case study.

The final evaluation form will be available no less that one month before November 30, 2021 at 18:00 UTC.

Case study overview

The case study template will include these sections:

  • Problem statement: what problem were you trying to solve with new or improved documentation?
  • Proposal abstract: a brief summary of the original organization proposal
  • Project description: a narrative description of your project. Include:
    • How you created your proposal (and link to the original project ideas page).
    • How you recruited and selected a technical writer or other participants.
    • Who worked on the project (use usernames if requested by participants).
    • How long did the project take to complete (if completed).
    • What went well?
    • What was unexpected? What hurdles or setbacks did you face?
    • What documentation was created, updated, improved, or removed?
  • Did this project result in any new or updated processes or procedures in your organization?
  • Metrics:
    • What metrics were chosen to measure the success of the project?
    • Were you able to collect those metrics?
    • Did they correlate with the behaviors or benchmarks you expected?
    • Did your chosen metrics change? Did you remove or add any metrics?
    • According to your metrics, is your project successful? (It may be too early to tell.)
    • How often do you intend to gather metrics going forward?
  • Summary:
    • In 2-4 paragraphs, summarize your project experience. What did you learn? What would you do differently in the future? What advice would you give projects trying to solve a similar problem with documentation?

Case study guidance

  • Keeping a weekly log of project updates will help you create your case study. For each week, record project progress (including links to pull requests, issues, or conversations, where useful), what went well (or not well), things you learned, and questions that were asked.
  • When writing your case study, be kind. Avoid blame and keep it constructive. Remember that case studies are public!
  • Use the same tone in your case study as you would for a blog post or tutorial; don’t be overly formal.