A quick guide to product documentation.

June 18, 2021
When talking about teamwork and collaboration inside the company, one of the main things that pop up is: how can we be sure that everyone’s on the same page? Software Development projects are dense in information and key parts of it can get lost in the shuffle if these are not centralized correctly. Beginning a new project demands the creation of a knowledge hub outlining all relevant aspects of the project and its process, inside this hub we can find two types of documentation: Project documentation, which centers around the product being developed and describes scenarios in which it will be used in and, process documentation centers around the core parts of the development process such as plans, schedules, and roadmaps. The amount of documentation needed can become a bit overwhelming when first approaching it, so here’s a quick guide outline what is expected from some of the important parts of project documentation: In the matter of product documentation, these are just a few of the elements we’ll find inside: 1. **System Documentation:** Overviews the entire system and its underlying technology, this gives stakeholders an understanding of what grounds they’ll be working in. 2. **Product Requirements:** This section describes what the system should do and how it will be utilized, inside a product requirement document we will most likely find things like business rules, user stories, goals, limitations and, sitemaps. 3. **Software Architecture:** Lists out the main points regarding the software involved in the project and touches base on topics like architecture, user stories, and development principles. It also looks to relate user stories to business processes and goals. 4. **Source Code:** Here the main patterns and principles of the project described and it outlines the overall structure, principles, security methodology and more. 5. **Quality Assurance:** Usually developed by a QA lead, it lists testing documents describing how the quality assurance process will be handled. A few examples are the QA management plan, test strategy and, test checklists. And when it comes to process documentation, it generally contains the following: 1. **General Planification:** Here’s where plans, schedules and, estimates are placed. This is created before the project starts and is altered as the development process starts taking off. 2. **Reports:** They provide project managers with an overview of how resources are being used and allow them to make adjustments to improve the project’s development. 3. **Standards:** Outlines all standards for coding and user experience, the team will be able to re-visit this in time to confirm that the project is still rooted in its initial principles. 4. **Roadmaps:** A strategy based document that contains roadmaps for different elements of the project such as a strategic roadmap with overall project information and goals, IT roadmap with descriptions and deadlines for deliverables and a release map with all relevant info regarding releases, setting strict and clear goals and timeframes. This was just an introduction to project documentation, depending on a product’s complexity more elements will trickle into the necessary documents. One key takeaway is that no matter how complex documentation can seem at first it’s important to remember its relevance and benefits to ensure a smooth development process. This blog is part of our Friday Blog series centering about software development, testing and much more. For even more blogs browse through our blog section.