Talking about focusing on the daily work and documenting the knowledge about them. It has always been a nip and tuck.
But let’s take a moment and put ourselves in the place where the freshmen are on their first day in your organization. You are starting as an employee for a company or an organization that has a ubiquitous language for its own. There is a lot of business logic and complexity inside. And you will be probably anxious since there is a lot to learn and especially in the case where there is no documentation about a specific context, you have to take someone employee’s time to share their knowledge about it. And probably, it will proceed like this:
In the cases where the organizations or the companies have well-documented systems about their lifecycle, the onboarding process will transition to a smooth one. The employee will be able to access related content or information about the context easily. This will also lead to earlier business value delivery for the employee.
At some point, the documentation process may seem cheap but don’t forget that your employee’s time is expensive. Whenever you’re provided with an opportunity to leverage from it, don’t hesitate to start documenting the knowledge that can be transitable easily.
So how to increase the impact of the ongoing documentation process — or even where to start?
Listen and observe your organization
People won’t always come up about missing parts of a puzzle. Take the initiative for what could be better and watch out for the development areas.
At the end of the day — a lot of communication in our daily lives are verbal and ends up undocumented. Replacing the assumptions with precision is only possible by ensuring that you have documented the obvious in your organizational culture.
Always tell stories
Take notes from your observations and listenings. Because they are the key ingredients — if people are complaining about it. Start designing your stories around them to keep your content interesting and engageable.
In web applications and services, there is a metric for user satisfaction called Apdex. Its purpose is to convert measurements into insights about user satisfaction with the response time analysis. Start imagining your documentation as an application. If the response time or time to interact on an application is too high, you won’t be entertained and close that and move to another. Here, the application is your document. Don’t write documents that their time to interact is too high. Try to keep up your Apdex score high with feedback from your stakeholders. Keep your documents updated for the better. Time is expensive, so does our experiences. ✌🏻
Humans are inclined to see narratives where there are none because they can afford meaning to our lives — a form of existential problem-solving.
Keep documentation just simple enough — but not too simple
Documentation should offer a low learning curve for the reader. Since the reader is here because they want to learn the fundamentals of the context, about the process or even the motivation behind it. It should contain the required parts adequately.
Provide information at a different level of detail
Especially in technical documentation, provide information at a different level of detail — rather than the steps. Otherwise, if these steps relate to the topics that require knowledge, it still creates an effort for understanding and uncertainty for those affected after the step’s execution. Code snippets to execute only provides a piece of higher-level information about the process. However, the reader should know the reasoning behind those.
Don’t underestimate the power of sharing
How often we are taking the time to share our knowledge with our peers while we are dealing with our daily jobs? Keeping this personal touch and commitment will lead to better relationships and creates a sense of belonging to our organization. Don’t hesitate to start your writing journey now. At the end of the day, volunteered contribution and ownership will be the key to your organizational growth.
They say that — “Slow and steady wins the race”. So start documenting today. Even the tiniest contribution might be fuel to the fire for sharing the knowledge for all levels.
Stay safe and healthy, see you! 👋🏻