Thursday, November 20, 2008

The TAGRI Approach To Ducumentation

I found a nice blog post called Developers Aren't Gonna Read It about the software requirements documentation principles, which actually refers to Scott W. Ambler's post called The TAGRI (They Aren't Gonna Read It) Principle of Software Development.
The idea behind these posts is that the developers do not read documentation. And to be honest - yes! it is true! I don't remember myself reading the documentation for a long time. In fact, I don't remember if I really have read a single document produced by analyst from start to end. Thinking of the man-hours spent on the documentation by analysts it may be horrible to calculate the total cost that was spent to produce these documents.
I was responsible for the web UI part of this system (100 pages) but had to understand also how the backend works (200 pages). ... So, did I read the documentation? I didn't. I didn't have to because I preferred direct communication with the guys who know the system throughout.

Indeed, a very familiar situation.
Not all documentation sucks. ... the best documentation is the one that is very easily changeable. Wiki is the best option here - it's easily searchable (through many projects) and changeable.

I love wiki! IMHO, it is one of the best approaches to the communication and to hold the documentation, tips-and-tricks, tutorials, etc.

To me, the best solution is to really communicate verbally. Make it to the whiteboard and draw some concepts together with the analyst. It ensures we both use the same terms, and both understand the domain of the problem. I hope our team members feel the same.

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