days
0
-95
-4
hours
-2
0
minutes
-2
-8
seconds
0
0
search
Achieve flawless documentation

6 Process Documentation Mistakes Developers Should Avoid

Gaurav Belani
© Shutterstock / Ico Maker

Many people assume that documentation is merely a formality, but it is a way to simplify conducting day-to-day business activities. When developers make the following mistakes in the process documentation, it can result in an unorganized workplace. Here’s how to avoid them all.

An essential part of self-service within internal teams includes creating documentation. Many people assume that documentation is merely a formality, but it is a way to simplify conducting day-to-day business activities. There are many advantages of having well-thought-out process documentation.

A documentation tool gives you a simple and efficient method to keep track of all your company’s papers, including rules, procedures, notes, schedules, contracts, etc.

But when developers make the following mistakes in the process documentation, it can result in an unorganized workplace. Here’s how to avoid them all.

Not following formatting standards

Poorly structured documentation adds no value to the organization. Developers working with documentation that needs to be in sync with source code will have to follow the formatting standards as well. For instance, they need to ensure that their texts align with their consequent lines.

Developers also need to keep a tab on the text and its proper indentation. Think of each line as a number where the text would correspond to each line number and not in between. This means you would not have text in lines 1.5, 2.5, etc.

The last consideration is the margins. Before uploading the process documents, developers should double-check that the margins are proper. Number lists, definitions, and cross-referencing links are further formatting considerations. Ensure that document is formatted according to the predefined standards before uploading it.

Using code snippets without code syntax highlighter

If your product is a software or online application, the documentation will likely include many code samples. Even if this is a process document, you want your employees to know what they are dealing with. And, to make the code samples seem easy to copy and paste elsewhere, you may put them in plain text. Code snippets are useful because they can be copied and pasted elsewhere.

Users will be able to easily read and copy the code snippet if it is highlighted using a Syntax Highlighter. Also, the readers can tell whether the code has any syntax errors.

Not complying with business standards

The use of checklists and guides helps remember and adhere to policies and rules. Not following the document preservation and destruction criteria for your processes can bring a corporation into disrepute.

Therefore, developers need to ensure the security of certain process documents that demand discreteness. Your company should have a policy that helps developers store and share internal process documentation. Failing to comply with the same should require rework from developers and make amendments to stay compliant.

Failing to notice and correct grammatical mistakes

The use of grammar checklists and guides aids in remembering and adhering to documentation policies and rules. For instance, “Let’s eat, my friend” has an entirely different meaning than “Let’s eat my friend.” One comma makes the difference!

While it is not a developer’s job to check for the errors purposefully, you can have a team of editors do that job. But, the chances are that your developers can come across some obvious typos while uploading the document. In that case, they can notice that mistake and either correct it or share it with the editor.

Lack of search option

Anyone from an internal team can come looking for information. The crucial part of documentation involves making it easy to enter keywords and search for text. Developers who do not include a search option when they create an online knowledge base may give a hard time to employees looking for a certain piece of information.

Without the search option, team members may not be able to locate the right resource even if you have supplied it.

Inexistent archiving system

The files that are no longer in use due to document expiry and replacement need to be achieved. As a developer, you can have a document management team organizing the process documents regardless of whether they are fresh or old by using a single document management system.

It’s important to have a complete document management system to keep important process files structured for future reference.

Wrapping up

Strengthening your present document management procedures will need you to ensure that your developers do not commit any of the above-mentioned mistakes. A developer has many hats to wear when working on a documentation portal, and any minor mistake can cost too dearly.

If you want your development team to stay more productive and carry out processes that drive efficiency, then flawless documentation is necessary.

Author
Gaurav Belani
Gaurav Belani is senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Growfusely. He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing. He likes sharing his knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from marketing, human capital management, emerging technologies and much more. His work is featured in several authoritative tech publications. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter at @belanigaurav.

guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments