On Documentation

Good Afternoon Everyone!

For those of you who have been reading these for a bit, Welcome back! If you’re new to this, welcome aboard!

Today, I wold like to spend some time talking to you all about documentation: why we need it, and the grand purpose it serves (despite the fact that it can be quite tedious to maintain and create).

Like many of my other posts, I wold to start by defining what I mean when I talk about ‘documentation’. Yeah, I know it should be a no-brainer, but it helps to define these things straight away. Documentation is literally the documents by which you define processes & guidelines for day-to-day business and set goals for the company.

Why Do We Need It?

The simplest answer would be to standardize. As your company grows and more people do the same tasks, it helps having something that they can all dress themselves off of. This leads to consistent performance across all actors within your process, which ultimately results in consistent customer feedback, which is key when is comes to process and product improvement. A less simple but more direct answer is head space. I don’t care how smart you are or how perfect your memory is; you cannot and should not track things mentally.

It’s way too easy to be slightly off on something when it’s all tucked away in your melon. When the need for a process or any document comes to mind, write that bit down, and when you have time, flesh it out. Leave it alone for a day or two, come back and re-read it. Make sure nothing is missed, and accept that it will never be perfect.

What’s the Grand Purpose?

Now that we know the why, let’s cover he purpose here. I touched on it a bit when I mentioned customer but I want to go into a bit more detail. Everything within a business serves and end goal. Naturally one of the most important goals is customer satisfaction. When it comes to customers, they typically only want a few things: Honesty, Quality, and Consistency. Even if your product needs improvement, even if it’s not ready for public consumption, most customers will still work with you as long as the other qualities are there… for a little while.

However, your product needs to improve, and it needs to do so consistently to maintain that customer’s business. Guess what is key to quality and process improvement? Exactly. get those processes documented, accept that they aren’t perfect and seize every opportunity to improve; it’s key to any lasting business.

That’s all for today; thanks for reading, and until next time!

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