To document… Part 4 (Post 30)

As it’s the last day of #blogjune, I thought I should wrap things up re the documentation workshops.

At the last documentation workshop we finished assigning authorship, which achieved a lot towards getting others at the table other than the original few. We then extended this exercise by identifying which documents could possibly be prepared concurrently across the teams. This was really worthwhile as their was recognition that even more people needed to be a part of the process. We finished the session there.

So my initial issues were:
– the process of documentation is more important than delivery
– the process of documentation is controlled by 2-3 people, while teams await instruction
– the documentation is written to meet the needs of the authors, not the end readers who need instruction
– the process of documentation is mind-numbing slow, with at least 2 workshops and revisions per piece of documentation
– there is an expectation there will be about 30 pieces of documentation. To be completed before handover to delivery can begin
– the owners are very possessive of the documentation

I was hoping the process would:
– share ownership of the documentation
– reduce the amount of documentation required
– reduce the time to produce the documentation
– get us moving towards delivery while still ensuring people receive the instruction they require.

To date, the changes are:
– we have shared the ownership of both the documents and the process of creation
– we have identified documents that can be prepared concurrently, to try to address the time required

To address the amount of documentation my Manager colleague and I will be looking at the ‘templates’ to either reduce, or introduce shorter versions. We will also look at how we can start working towards delivery without all the documentation needing to be completed first.

It is an ongoing negotiation with the teams, but I do feel there is a step forward. I also know that the next ‘review workshop’ now has 8 at the table, not 3. The 5 that are now included are very happy to be there.

It’s one small step, but it’s in the right direction.



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