One of the first few basics that you need to learn. You don’t have to be Shakespeare or his sister for that matter to write the documents, however a good writing skill is necessary.
How do you document?
-Every document has a requirement (why you need to document?)
-Understand the requirement very well.
-Read the materials/files given carefully. Ask for help if you need directions and are doing it for the first time. I remember when I joined work; my first deliverable was a power point presentation of a client requirement. My mentor 1 (remember?) made sure I understood it and took the time graciously to chalk out the flow in pencil and paper. I delivered it by evening and was approved with a nod and a smile.
-Analyze and plan your document well before you start writing.
-Ask for samples if available to get a better idea (some companies have templates or you can research it over the web)
-Keep your thoughts calm and organized and just focus on your writing.
-Read through when you feel stuck.
-Everybody has their first day at work or documentation, so don’t panic you will get ample help.
What do you document?
- It could be about anything, here are a few possibilities:
-Statement of work
-Software requirement specifications
You and documentation
Once you get the hang of it, it’s not that hard. It might get a bit boring, so invent yourself and the document. Find ways to make it interesting, so your readers don’t fall asleep as well while reading it. Use your creativity when allowed within your company policy.
I remember in school, we had a project about a hypothetical corporation and we had to write the entire business strategy and communication details in the project, it also included the employee manual and we were given enough freedom to use our creativity. So, I created the manual and along with other the last page of the binder had audio CD attached to it. The CD contained a few relaxation and meditation music and I mentioned in bold letters- “We at the XYZ Corporation want you to enjoy your work. So, here’s a CD, please enjoy the music and relax when everything else seems crazy. Thank you for working with us!” It got me an A, just because reading the manual was “very interesting”.
Documentation it is!
(Picture: Google Courtesy)