Yes, documentation is a hard sell, and that might be one of the toughest challenges that lie ahead of a newly born content team.
In a result-driven environment like the one where every modern company lives, one thing is crutial… yes, you got it: the result. That’s fine, but not when it makes you try to skip the tough parts in order to get there faster. And maintaining a healthy documentation process is indeed a tough part.
So we often choose to ignore its importance, or at least to lower it as if docs were accessories which we may deal with later.
One of the reasons is that this result-driven environment values measurable benefits, and measuring the effect of well-done documentation is hard and time-consuming work.
How happier did your customers become after you changed the titles from gerund to infinitive? What was the reduction in the number of open tickets after you changed the border color of the search button? Hard to tell.
However, it’s these and many other details that, together, transform a raw and scattered knowledge into the tool that makes your business scalable.
And the time to pay attention at them is now, when this knowledge is still minimally moldable.
The effects will not show tomorrow or next week. And maybe when they do show up, the documentation’s influence will not be clear.
So it may be hard to justify an effort equivalent to that used by the product team to handle the documentation. And, for the most anxious ones, it may be excruciating to wait for numbers while working day after day on commas and buttons and categories names.
But a product that grows without a well-structured documentation process is like a building that is built with bamboo pillars. At first it may seem possible, but if the product goes far enough, start watching for cracks.