Leading by example in legacy projects

One of the typical ways for agreeing to have project documentation in place is this:

  1. Customer voices the need for documentation (on a side note, product-based software companies are not considered in this discussion).
  2. Documentation team provides the estimates.
  3. Estimates are adjusted and approved.

This works well for new projects and new features in existing projects. On a side note, this also assumes that the people who give the final approval for documentation do understand why documentation is needed.

But what about legacy projects, the ones that are poorly documented or not documented at all? How do you convince the company (or the customer) that documentation is needed?

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Metrics: useful resources

Sooner or later, each seasoned Information Developer starts wondering whether the quality of content produced can be measured. And so do Information Development Managers. However, in addition to content quality metrics, managers care about one more aspect—measuring the productivity of their department in order to improve and streamline their team efforts.

Thus, when thinking of developing and introducing metrics in your organization, you should think of at least two metrics to assess:

  • Content quality
  • Work productivity

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Estimating documentation tasks: what should not skip your mind?

Information Developers in their work oftentimes stumble upon the cases when content creation may seem to be a much easier task than predicting how much time it would take. And usually, it happens when we are involved in a new project or in the presales activities, but it’s also a part of our routine activities on any project.
The first temptation is to use the industry averages like 4 hours per a help topic. But are you sure this will work for your project?

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