Before starting this article, I want to clarify that I am writing after a long break of holidays and I might be a bit rusty as feels my brain:
That is why I would like to have comments or mails to know how well I am doing after the break.
Anyways, coming back to the title, this year I enter 8th year working in Software consulting industry and most parts of it has been with Dynamics CRM product.
I have had various hats during this time and found some common pain points in terms of documentation standards. Sometimes I have found no documentation. Sometimes there has not been a technical documentation, sometimes a mix has been presented to the client. So from my experience, I feel documentation is more important than code in CRM consulting world. Some of the supporting points below:
· Clarify your business goals, requirements and activities: With a proper documentation, you can share the business goals and requirement with your management and team mates so that they have a clear vision and goals and the activity they perform will be more towards the success.
· Absent technical or design documentation? May be OK in some cases, but the lack of documentation becomes a problem when the design has to be communicated across time (to a developer who will join the team six months later) or space (to a developer working in another country) or a developer leavings takes the design and technical approach with himself/herself, which all are quiet common occurrences in CRM consulting world.
· Design and Specify your implementation: This comes in Architectural/Design documents and it gives you complete overview of how your implementation look like.
· Everything is clearly explained: When you makes End User documentation of the product of implementation, you have to explain each and everything about its working. It describes each feature of the program, and assists the user in realizing these features.
· Anybody can work on other’s code: If you are a developer, it is not sufficient to write good code only but you also need to take cares about the documentation part, which can be helpful to other developers while working in a team. In CRM projects, this becomes important as there are many parallel running projects and consultants switch between projects quickly. This is partly due to shortage of experienced CRM consultants in the industry.
· Helpful in proper communication: A good software documentation is helpful in proper communication. The written procedure helps you to make interaction within several departments.
Often time and budget constraints are the primary cause for CRM consulting industry to not choose to do proper documentation but in order to retain a client who is mostly happy, documentation is the golden keys.
Hope it helps!