Friday, January 28, 2011

 

Enterprise Architecture: Documentation 2.0

A lot of our problems with documentation come from the significance we invest in it. Culturally speaking, we tend to believe what is written down somehow must have more truth than something learned through other means...



Last year I asked the question: Is it possible to create too much documentation? Now I am asking whether one should even bother reading existing documentation.

Is it wise for an otherwise logical group of IT professionals to believe in something that they know is almost never true? What if we simply started with a simple guide as to what documentation is used for and more importantly what doesn't have fiscal return in documenting (If you have documentation in a contract, you are already a loser).



Have you heard of McGovern's law of documentation which states: The likelihood of keeping all or part of a software artifact consistent with any corresponding text that describes it, is inversely proportional to the square of the cognitive distance between them. For those who like things more simple, this translates into out of sight, out of mind....




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