The right way to provide documentation

ksd. blog | The right way to provide documentation

tl;dr —
Honestly, there is no right way to provide documentation.

long version —
Well, there probably is, but most of our clients don’t have the time for that. We don’t have time for that. Lean tendencies, short sprint cycles, go figure.

From our experience, all that matters is that you 1) explain what you did 2) and why you did it 3) so that someone else can pick up where you left off 4) and you cover your own ass in the process.

The rest is up to you.

Here are some ways that we’ve provided documentation over the years:

  • + Basecamp discussions
  • + Google docs
  • + preliminary sketches
  • + wireframes
  • + pen and paper
  • + white-boarding
  • + code comments
  • + email (not our favorite, but it works)
  • + spreadsheets
  • + PDFs
  • + Keynote presentations

You get the idea.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or cumbersome. It just needs to work with your team and workflow. And the easier you can make it for someone else to discover and digest, the better.

Documentation can also vary by project and team, so don’t give up if it doesn’t together right away. Even around here it’s a work in progress.

Hooray, documentation!

image: jarmoluk via VisualHunt.