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I'm working in the Development dept (around 40 developers) for a large E-Commerce company. We've grown quickly but have not evolved very well in the field of documenting our work. We work with an Agile / Scrum-like methodology with our development and testing but documentation seems to be neglected.

We need to be able to make documentation that would aid a developer who hasnt worked on our project before or was new to the company. We also have to create more high level information for our support department to explain any extra config settings and fixes of known issues that may arise, if any.

Currently we put this in a badly put together wiki, based on an old Sharepoint / TFS site.

Can anyone suggest some ideal links or advice on improving the documentation standard? What works in other companies?

Has anyone got avice on developing documentation as part of an agile process?

Many thanks,

ben

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Include documentation in your DoD, Definition of Done. It works perfectly with Scrum.

Explanation here: Manuals - How Up To Date?

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I agree with Pierre 303, if you make it a clear deliverable then it doesn't get missed :).

I find that poor technologies get in the way of documentation, and Sharepoint Wiki isn't great to say the least :(. I'd still recommend a wiki or some sort of collaborative approach, you really want to make documentation everyone's shared responsibility.

At the moment I use a combination of Mediawiki (team/community driven docs) and docbook (formal documentation to be printed/released).

I suggest pairing in order to get the documentation done, it creates that teamwork which is vital in order to complete a task which tends to be seen as something unpopular.

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mediawiki looks interesting, unfortunately we're a Microsoft .Net house for this sort of thing. Is there an as easy to use .Net equivalent? Some of the architects are raving about the new sharepoint but I'm not sure how that will turn out, givn that it will still be... sharepoint –  benwebdev Jan 18 '11 at 12:52
    
Well I have to use a Sharepoint Wiki at one of my client sites, and it's barely OK. Things that annoy me are: You need IE or IE plugin to edit it, it doesn't use std wiki mark-up, it produces horrible mark-up if you use its rich editor, poor version control and the data is stored in a proprietary MS Sharepoint data structure. Grrrrrrr! That said you have to be pragmatic about these things and make the best of it. Your internal navigation/structure of the wiki is still your biggest hurdle. –  Martijn Verburg Jan 18 '11 at 14:02
    
I agreee - i thinks thats going to be some hurdle to change –  benwebdev Jan 18 '11 at 14:11
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