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Why Documentation and Why Now

While Agile Manifesto states “working software over comprehensive documentation”, you can notice that it doesn’t completely rule out the need for documentation. It emphasizes on ‘working software’ as the primary objective and ‘comprehensive documentation’, as a secondary one and certainly not a needless one.

Agile or waterfall, good concise documentation, whether customer-facing user manuals or installation guides or specification requirement documentation for developers and analysts, helps software users big time in these challenging times. However, many developers consider documentation as the last step in the project lifecycle. The truth is no one wants to write it or about it and consider it a futile effort that gets in the way of the real work. Many future problems can simply be averted if documentations are given their due.

In this article, Future Focus would like to explore why and how good and effective documentations can play a vital role more than ever in the software project life cycle.

Complexity in business and technology is eternally growing:

As business processes and technology automating it are changing at breakneck spread, adding more complexities to the operations, tracing and tracking back to what has been coded or applied at the development stage becomes inevitable. Changes to suit current needs are bound to happen and documentation can be extremely useful in these scenarios.

Time, the most precious resource:

In this fact paced environment, time is the most precious and sought-after resource. Business needs to deliver (software) on time and customers need to use in time. Comprehensive and effective documentation during every phase of a software lifecycle means, saving valuable time and efforts during review, debugging, testing or integration with 3rd party systems or while adding new spec to the software.

Bringing everyone on the same page matters:

Designing and implementing an application for a business is a joint effort – from analysts, architects, developers, testers to implementers, bringing everyone on the same page matters and that’s where documentation comes into play. Successful documentation will make information easily accessible, help new members understand the process quickly and simplify the long, complex process, making life easier for everyone involved in the process.

Regaining Control over IT Systems:

Without documentation, one may be at the mercy of the developer or supplier who originally developed the software or system. Candid documentation helps you retain control. At any stage, you can take over, ensure smooth transition, maintain high quality standards and avoid missed deadlines.

Ensure Success and Delight Customers:

At the end, successful development and implementation only will delight customers no matter what kind of sophistication, cost and features have gone into it. As per IJCSI.org: “The dominant factor between a successful project and an unsuccessful project reduces to the effective dissemination of key information and successful software projects become successful because they give the right level of attention to clearly communicating the key concepts and requirements”. Need we have to say Documentations play a larger role here?

vanitha - content writer

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