I made a guest appearance at an old client recently and found that they had a handful of critical errors that were there only because no one had read what I wrote a year ago.
As I wrote here:
It is not enough to use the wiki to cross reference all the information about the current state, we also need to write down the discussions and misshaps that lead here. That way we can turn these vast amounts of information into knowledge that is transferable.
There is also terabytes of well written stand alone documents out there but it is to hard to find them.
Every organization needs a document repository that is easily searched. I still think a wiki is a really good thing to have but some documents work better as stand alone entities. Those documents must be easy to find. They need to be stored at a place that the organization members find natural to go to for information otherwise the time spent writing them is a total waste.
My personal aversion to writing software documentation comes from knowing that no one will ever read it. I’ve had several colleagues who have written lots of pages of junk just to intimidate any potential reader.
Since SharePoint Services is part of the OS now it is very easy to create a central place for documents.
So this is a call out to all project managers and team leaders: Please create a place where your staff can find and create living documentation. Everyone will gain from it.