Will Anyone Read an Article About Documentation?
Posted on October 6th, 2018
I am pleased with the response to the articles I have published on LinkedIn, but a total lack of interest in one article surprised me. The rhetorical question How can agile teams produce comprehensive documentation? seemed like a great title to me because it was echoing one of the values in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development:
working software over comprehensive documentation
I had also planned it as the second article in a theme that I started with How Can Agile Teams Capture Non-Functional Requirements?
On reflection, I probably shouldn't be too surprised at the lack of interest. Including the word documentation in the title of an article almost guarantees that no will read it! Or maybe it's because my reference to comprehensive documentation is too subtle? I was relying on the final statement of the manifesto to provide the context:
that is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more
In other words, I understand the manifesto to be saying:
there is value in documentation but working software always has greater value.
Echoing the title, the article starts with three more rhetorical questions:
- What happens to a Sprint Backlog Item at the end of a sprint?
- Does it have no further use?
- Should the team just tear up the story card and throw it away?
I then go on to propose that teams should create a Product Inventory containing completed sprint backlog items that will serve as a growing repository of comprehensive documentation for very little additional effort on the part of the team.
With this in mind, I have renamed the article to What happens to sprint backlog items at the end of a sprint?