Yesterday I talked a bit about the importance of Flow.
Today, I’d like to focus more on the last part of that post: Documentation.
In the past, I always considered Documentation to be a frustrating, bureaucratic process that slowed things down.
I’ve since learned that Documentation actually speeds things up.
When you encounter a problem and come up with a solution, that solution can be recorded and shared with others. If someone else runs into your problem, they can avoid troubleshooting and jump straight to the solution.
Boom… you just sped things up for them! They had a problem. You solved it. (Good job.)
Problems are unanswered questions, and unanswered questions clog up the Flow.
In turn, Documentation answers those questions, and unclogs the Flow.
Forums are a great example of Documentation in action. Sites like Stack Overflow and Experts Exchange are filled with helpful answers. When you run into a development or technology problem, there’s a good chance that a Google search will take you to a site like this.
Customer service products like Get Satisfaction are essentially forums. The focus for these companies is on presenting solutions rather than discussions, but in the end, it’s the same core concept: sharing knowledge through Documentation.
TL;DR = Flow makes everything better, and sharing knowledge through Documentation keeps the Flow moving.