Table of Contents | Appendix C-24 | Appendix C-26




The User Manual contains all essential information for the user to make full use of the information system. This manual includes a description of the system functions and capabilities, contingencies and alternate modes of operation, and step-by-step procedures for system access and use. Use graphics where possible in this manual. The manual format may be altered if another format is more suitable for the particular project.

1.1      Purpose and Scope

This section provides a description of the purpose and scope of the User Manual.

1.2      Organization

This section describes the organization of the User Manual.

1.3      Points of Contact

This section identifies the organization codes and staff (and alternates if appropriate) who may assist the system user. If a help desk facility or telephone assistance organization exists, describe it in this section.

1.4      Project References

This section provides a bibliography of key project references and deliverables that have been produced prior to this point in the system development process. References might include the QA Plan, CM Plan, FRD, or Systems Design Document.

1.5      Primary Business Functions

This section discusses the business perspective of the user's primary responsibilities and tasks as they are supported by the system. Introduce the business functions so that the focus may rest on the systematic steps to support the business functions in later sections.

1.6      Glossary

This section provides a glossary of all terms and abbreviations used in the manual. If the glossary is several pages or more in length, it may be placed as an appendix.


This section provides a brief overview of the system and its capabilities.

2.1      Purpose

This section describes the purpose of the application system.

2.2      General Description

This section provides an overview of the system's capabilities, functions, and operation, including the specific high-level functions performed by the system. Use graphics and tables, if appropriate.

2.3      Privacy Act Considerations

If the system is protected by the Privacy Act, include this notification of the Privacy Act's "Civil and Criminal Penalties" found in U.S. Code Section 552a, Records Maintained on Individuals, concerning the unauthorized use and disclosure of system data:

Criminal Penalties - (1) Any officer or employee of an agency, who by virtue of employment or official position, has possession of, or access to, agency records which contain individually identifiable information, the disclosure of which is prohibited by U.S. Code Section 552a or by rules or regulations established thereunder, and who knowing that disclosure of the specific material is so prohibited, willfully discloses the material in any manner to any person or agency not entitled to receive it, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000. (2) Any officer or employee of any agency who willfully maintains a system of records without meeting the requirement to publish a notice in the Federal Register regarding the existence and character of the system of records, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000. (3) Any person who knowingly and willfully requests or obtains any record concerning an individual from an agency under false pretenses shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000.


This section describes each specific function of the system. In this high-level section, describe any conventions to be used in the associated subsections.

Each of the subsequent sections should be repeated as often as necessary to describe each function within the system. The term "Function X" in the subsection title is replaced with the name of the function.

3.1      Function X Title

This section provides the title of the specific system function.

3.2      Detailed Description of Function

This section provides a description of each function. Include the following, as appropriate:

•      Purpose and uses of the function
•      Initialization of the function, if applicable
•      Execution options associated with this function
•      Description of function inputs
•      Description of expected outputs and results
•      Relationship to other functions
•      Summary of function operation

3.3      Preparation of Function Inputs

This section defines required inputs. These inputs should include the basic data required to operate the system. The definition of the inputs include the following:

•      Title of each input
•      Description of the inputs, including graphic depictions of display screens
•      Purpose and use of the inputs
•      Input medium
•      Limitations and restrictions
•      Format and content on inputs, and a descriptive table of all allowable values for the inputs
•      Sequencing of inputs
•      Special instructions
•      Relationship of inputs to outputs
•      Examples

3.4      Results

This section describes expected results of the function. Include the following in the description, as applicable:

•      Description of results, using graphics, text, and tables
•      Form in which the results will appear
•      Output form and content
•      Report generation
•      Instructions on the use of outputs
•      Restrictions on the use of outputs, such as those mandated by Privacy Act and Computer
       Security Act restrictions
•      Relationship of outputs to inputs
•      Function-specific error messages
•      Function-specific or context-sensitive help messages associated with this function


This section provides detailed, step-by-step system operating instructions.

4.1      Initiate Operation

This section contains procedures for system logon and system initialization to a known point, such as a system main menu screen. This initialization procedure should describe how to establish the required mode of operation and set any initial parameters required for operation. Software installation procedures should be included if the software is distributed on diskette and should be downloaded before each use.

4.2      Maintain Operation

This section defines procedures to maintain the operation of the software where user intervention is required.

4.3      Terminate and Restart Operations

This section defines procedures for normal and unscheduled termination of the system operations

and should define how to restart the system.


This section should address error message and help facilities. Additional information and subsections may be added as necessary. Included in this section should be a list of all possible error messages, including the following:

•      Any numeric error codes associated with the error message
•      A description of the meaning of the error message
•      A discussion of how to resolve the error


This section describes any resident help software or any Service or contractor help desk facility that the user can contact for error resolution. Help desk telephone numbers should be included.

User Manual Outline

Cover Page
Table of Contents

1.0       Introduction
            1.1       Purpose and Scope
            1.2       Organization
            1.3       Points of Contact
            1.4       Project References
            1.5       Primary Business Functions
            1.6       Glossary

2.0       System Capabilities
            2.1       Purpose
            2.2       General Description
            2.3       Privacy Act Considerations

3.0       Description of System Functions
            3.1       Function X Title
            3.2       Detailed Description of Function
            3.3       Preparation of Function inputs
            3.4       Results

4.0       Operating Instructions
            4.1       Initiate Operation
            4.2       Maintain Operation
            4.3       Terminate and Restart Operations

5.0       Error Handling

6.0       Help Facilities

Table of Contents | Appendix C-24 | Appendix C-26