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Why Updated Documentation is Critical to Success

26th August 2015 Posted in Blog, Documentation 1 Comment

Third Image for Out of Date DocumentationDocumentation is very important to each customer but companies often see documentation as an afterthought, an add-on, or an extra that doesn’t bring in more revenue. As a result, updating product documentation doesn’t always get the priority it deserves.

In her article, How Out-of-Date Documentation Can Cost You, Your Brand and Your Company, Jacquie Samuels provides some insight on why treating documentation as an add-on or an afterthought can be a costly mistake. She goes on to explain how out-of-date documentation is really worse than providing no documentation at all.

Read How Out of Date Documentation Can Cost You, Your Brand and Your Company¬†and then leave a comment here with your thoughts. Is documentation being shortchanged where you work? How have you overcome this misconception in the past? We’d love to hear from you.

One Comment

  1. By Nicholas Wadeon 7th, February 2018 at 11:45 am

    As much as we’d like to believe that updating documentation is critical, the plain truth is that this is probably generally the case.
    Updating (maintaining) documentation depends upon the complexity and critical nature of the product or service. Where there is a negligible opportunity to cause something catastrophic in a product or service, then updating becomes a secondary issue?
    Most software products are not going to cause much of a headache if the instructions are wrong though there are obvious exceptions. As a rule, yes, update your documentation – it simply is sensible to do so.
    The example of IKEA? Well, we’ve pretty well all been there by now, and for most of us, one of the first things we do after scanning the instructions is to throw them away.
    Of course you can’t do that if you are operating a nuclear reactor or financial software package etc but perhaps software products at least, need to have a certain redundancy safety built into them?
    Brand identification as far as I am aware, suffers little from the vagaries of poor documentation. Indeed, throw a brick in the direction of any of the TV/video products manufacturers and the handbooks all suffer from the same abysmal verbiage. We simply learn to live with it.
    Hardware product are more difficult though, as real damage can be done if the wrong procedure is followed. And certain software systems can royally screw-up your customer base if they are not programmed properly.
    But by and large most people (I believe) don’t have the time or inclination to read and why should they? Is it not about time that more thought was put into the use of the product than the 10 volumes of condensed text that goes with them? So why don’t we start from that premise and make the software or product do the talking for us?

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