Documentation, the Necessary Evil
Everyone hates to write documentation, myself included. No one likes to read your documentation either, if we’re being totally honest. In my day, I have created some amazing documentation as well as some crappy documentation and both sit on a SharePoint site or file share somewhere dying from a cold, lonely existence never to be updated again. Granted, someone will search for something, that one particular nugget that will help their understanding only to see that you glossed over that area and Jimmy is now besmirching your good name at the water cooler because of your poor documentation skills. He said something about your mother as well, but I am not going to repeat that. Not cool Jimmy, not cool.
As a consultant, I understand wholeheartedly the importance of documentation as it correlates to the success of the project at hand. However, that doesn’t make it any easier or exciting to write and certainly doesn’t make it any easier to read. Have insomnia? I have just the solution for you!!! Step right up and read this seventy page project discovery documentation outlining goals, tasks, and source to target mapping. Can you imagine being a technical writer producing these documents every day? I dated such a person for a short time last year and she was just as boring as the documents that she was paid to create but that’s a topic for another day.
The flip side to this is that a project without initial documentation in a discovery process can lead to impending doom, heartache, mild stomach discomfort, depression, and diarrhea. Well I am not sure about the diarrhea, but it will be bad, really bad. Feelings will be hurt, your good name will be run through the mud, and the your parent’s having a child out-of-wedlock will be questioned (that would be calling you a bastard for you millennials out there as there was a time when that was an insult). Herein lies the rub, you are going to have to advocate for documentation at the beginning of the process even though you despise doing it because simply your Mom’s honor is at stake. Do it for your Mom, she still loves you even if Jimmy doesn’t. Not cool Jimmy. Enjoy!!