Documentation naturally grows with the company. But if you’re not careful it can quickly become bloated and unnecessary detailed. This happened to us this year. We’ve noticed that a large part of The Niteo Handbook was too complicated, too detailed and the writing style too strict.
It was time to refresh it. We’ve removed a lot of unnecessary docs, especially a lot of detailed installation guides. We’ve moved a lot of documentation into short lines on our checklists. If there is an action to be done as part of a process, it should be in that process’ checklist, not explained in detail in the docs. We now link to the issue with a checklist and the assigned Nitean follows it. There’s a great book about the importance of checklists that I recommend reading, the Checklist Manifesto.
Besides that, we’ve moved everything about the company history and other information onto our website. Before it was split but now it’s just linked from the Handbook.
I think there is a good quote that represents the “less is more” philosophy:
Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
I think this is especially important for documentation. When you remove everything but the most essential documentation, then you have documentation that serves its purpose. In our case, we can safely assume that you’re comfortable around technology and don’t need detailed instructions on how to sign up for services, install software or learn how to use it. If you don’t know how to create a Slack account, download it and join channels, you probably aren’t a good fit for a tech company. 🙂
Check out the updated Niteo Handbook.