To document… Part 2 (Post 18)

We had our second session on documentation today. As I was not having a good day (brain addled by vertigo from moment of waking), I needed to rethink how the session would run – to remove the work from me, and ensure the group stepped up.

So with a bit of prep time, the group was presented with two lots of butchers paper on 2 walls, with 2 lots of post-it’s. One post-it to one piece of documentation.

The group was split into 2 – my selection to mix the skill sets and agendas – and they were asked to put the documentation into sequence, including where possible grouping of like documents, and dependencies.

It was interesting to see how things panned out. Both groups’ sheets look different – but there really wasn’t great variance between the two. Having said that, I’ll be typing this up tomorrow so I’ll get to test that statement.

I didn’t ask for overlaps in content, but it was obvious from the conversations they were drawing some conclusions by themselves. I will draw this out on Friday.

What was interesting was the pieces of work they thought were missing. There was content or ‘decisions’ they felt wasn’t clarified. In asking about this, the interesting part is MOST of what they wanted they have – just not in a format they are used to. Talking afterwards with a colleague of mine, who is a manager within this environment and is a participant of the sessions, he agreed – they have an inability to recognise information spread in format. The information has to appear the way they expect it, or they don’t digest it. (Secondly, it is very nice to be validated!!! I respect this colleague immensely so I was very glad he thought I was totally on track.)

We both agreed it would be valuable to pull these clarifications out to a template they recognise, followed by a bit of explanation of where the clarification came from. For me, this is a huge learning. To me the decisions were there – I was having difficulty understand what they were missing. Now I know. Pulling it together will be next week’s task.

The third session is on Friday, and we will focus on overlaps, redundancies and concurrent authorship. It should be a doozie!!!!

So far, so good. I just hope my brain is not so addled on Friday 🙂

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