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The need to write a document clearly is a requirement just like the need to write a feature. Any investment you make in documentation is investment that you could have made in new functionality, and vice versa, so someone should make a conscious decision as to how much that investment if anyshould actually be.
By treating documentation as a requirement you make its creation a visible and explicit decision for your stakeholders to consider. Fundamentally, the investment in documentation is a business decision, not a technical one: Managing work as a prioritized stack.
Are users asking for documentation because they were burned in the past by developers, or their colleagues were burned in the past, and now they ask for everything in the hopes they'll get something?
Does the requester understand the trade-offs that are being made, see What Are The Issues Associated with Documentation?
My experience is that when you explore the documentation issue with your project The best essays of all time that you quickly discover they're asking for it because they don't trust you, they often don't understand the implications of what they're asking for, and they often don't know that there is an alternative e.
Really good questions to ask are what they intend to use the documentation for and how they actually use the documentation. When you do that you often discover that they don't use all the documentation, that they instead just want it there as a security blanket more than anything else.
There are much better way ways to address fear than writing documentation. You should understand the total cost of ownership TCO for a document, and strive to maximize stakeholder ROI to provide the best value possible to your organization.
Someone must explicitly choose to make the investment in the documentation. The benefit of having documentation must be greater than the cost of creating and maintaining it. Ask whether you NEED the documentation, not whether you want it. Documentation is as much a part of the system as the source code.
In addition to working software, you'll also likely need to minimally deliver user manuals, support documentation, operations documentation, and system overview documentation. Your team's primary goal is to develop softwareits secondary goal is to enable your next effort.
Yes, building high-quality working software which meets the needs of your stakeholders is important, but ensuring that the people who come after you can maintain and enhance it, operate it, and support it is also important. Documentation still serves a purpose.
In particular, you want to capture high-level information in documentation but not details. You will still need to capture important information permanently, and sometimes regulations require certain levels of documentation yet another requirement.
Agilists are in fact writing documentation. DDJ's Modeling and Documentation survey found that agile teams were just as likely as traditional teams to write deliverable documentation such as user manuals, operations documentation, and so on.
Figure 4 summarizes the results of the survey pertaining to deliverable documentation. The important thing is that this survey should help to lay waste to some of the misunderstandings that people have when it comes to agile software development and documentation.
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