Documentation isn’t sexy.
People often view it as tedious or an annoying burden.
If you want to test how accurate that is, start your next meeting by asking who is willing to take minutes. Or, when a colleague makes a decision on how best to move forward on a project, ask them to make sure to get that in writing.
Before we go forward, I don’t want anyone to think either of those efforts as poor practices. It’s quite the opposite, actually, as I’ll later encourage very similar practices. But they must be done in the right context.
There are a wide range of practices between no documentation whatsoever and documentation of everything imaginable (such as the number of minutes worked, the content of hallway discussions between coworkers, and the food eaten at lunch).
Without any documentation, people likely ask the same questions over and over without anything available to reference. Important things likely slip through the cracks.
Swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction, there’s often no intentionality in documenting everything all of the time. Moreover, knowing that an interaction will be documented can prevent people from authentically engaging in topics.
Basically, you’ll encounter problems anywhere along the spectrum when you focus on the what and how, instead of on the why. So, let’s take a step back. Let’s talk about why documentation matters.