stut-it Martin Stut - Information Technology Tailored to You
How Documentation comes into Existence
By Martin Stut, 2009-01-24
As anyone doing stuff in IT probably knows, documentation is a key factor in running things successfully. When I look at my way of working, there are several ways how documentation is created:
- Notes when testing something. Depending on your style, this results in twitter-style or blog-style snippets of information, the sequence of which is important - if something broke, you should have taken a note of what you changed just before.
- Notes in the ToDo system. This is very convenient to create, because the to-do item is already open in your task management program, but it can be hard to find later, because completed to-do items tend to end up in a huge pile of poorly structured, rarely looked at stuff. In ThinkingRock (I'm going to write about that later) it's tolerable, because tasks are structured as projects, subprojects etc. Ideally there is a task at the end of every project: move documentation to permanent storage - HTML webpages, wiki, or whatever you (have to) use.
- Collection of spontaneous thoughts. For me, these are notes jotted down in my PDA whenever something potentially useful comes into my mind. Comes as unsorted blog, might be useable in a wiki.
- Brain storming on a topic. I'm are sitting down with the express purpose of collecting ideas for a topic. The resulting file is usually a mind map (I use FreeMind). This is hard to transfer into a wiki, but o.k. to export to static HTML.
My current, still unanswered, question is: How do I put together these pieces of information, without creating much overhead.