by Christian Bisson, PMP
Documentation—at least on IT projects—is one of those great project challenges. Documenting everything (and then keeping it updated) can be tedious, and requires a lot of time and discipline. But documenting nothing can leave people lost as a project evolves.
Like many things in life, balance is everything. Documentation doesn’t need to be a pain. It just needs to be relevant, easy to find and reliable.
Documents can easily (and quickly) become obsolete, therefore it’s important to limit documentation to the information that can help the team save time and avoid errors. Stick to the most important elements, such as project scope, important links, FAQs, key decisions, approvals, etc.
Easy to Find
If information is scattered between emails, a server, a computer and a filing cabinet, chances are team members will skip looking for it and simply ask around (most likely starting with the project manager) to find what they’re looking for.
There are several software options out there today that are great for storing and organizing documentation, like Google Drive or Confluence (part of the Atlassian suite). Each allows you to consolidate documentation in one spot and provides access to simultaneous editing and commentating features.
If you follow the first two tips, you should only have to maintain a limited amount of information in one easy-to-find location. This is essential because documentation that is not updated can have negative consequences on your project. It can mislead team members and accidentally force them into working off of outdated information.
Where do you store your important project documents? How do you ensure they are relevant and reliable? Share below!