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The Importance of Documentation is Facilitating Conversation

Posted Mar 20 2010 1:10pm

PM Documentation which is filed away in the laptop isn't worth the effort to type. I am often surprised how those new to the project management field create documentation in silos alone at their desk just to achieve a requirement. The purpose of project management documentation is communication. The documentation should be the outcome of meaningful dialogue with the business owner. Let's take the example of a project charter and protocols.

The first section of our project charter is the high-level project overview. It captures the history, purpose, business benefits, where we are, and where we want to be. These are great topics of discussion to have with the project sponsor, project champion, and executive sponsor. It is the time to get everyone sharing the vision of the desired outcome. These ideas should not be captured in a vacuum.

If you find yourself creating documentation just for documentation's sake, take a step back and reconsider how to get others engaged in the conversation. The purpose of the documentation is the communication and shared understanding needed before it can be derived. If you are missing that component, the conversation needs to happen.

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