How to Become a Documentation Evangelist

BY IT GLUE | August 21, 2018

A while back I wrote an article for Pingzine, basically presenting some of the findings in our Global Benchmark Survey. For whatever reason, they wanted me to change my job title, so we came up with the clever title of “documentation evangelist”. Can’t lie – it’s what I do. I get on this blog week after week and preach the gospel of documentation. But here’s the thing, every MSP needs a documentation evangelist. If you’re trying to go from a culture with relatively minimal documentation maturity, to a culture where you’re leveraging documentation for competitive advantage in every way possible, you need someone to be the spiritual head of that endeavor. You need a documentation evangelist.

As with most things in life, it takes work to become a documentation evangelist. But since your MSP needs one, and since you’re reading this, it’s probably you. So here’s how to become a documentation evangelist and drive the cultural shift that your MSP needs to take advantage of the power of documentation.

Lead by Example

The first thing is just to lead by example. There’s two parts to this. The example part is easy – you document a lot, and you do it well. You make documentation part of your process. Leading takes a bit more work, because it means communicating to others what you are doing and why you’re doing it. Ideally, you’ll be showing the benefits as well. But start by being the best documenter on your team.

Highlight Deficiencies

The second step is to highlight deficiencies. IT Glue has a completion profile feature that can help show you where your documentation needs the most work. Using this feature to guide you, you’ll be able to identify the priorities for your team. The Checklists feature can help you map out the documentation workload for your team as well, and help keep them on point. It’s a great way to build your documentation – assign each member of your team x number of servers (or whatever) this week. Or assign by organization, if your team already has certain clients in which they individually specialize.

Gamify

The third step is gamification. IT Glue has a built-in system for gamification called Engagement, or you can use an external dashboard like BrightGauge, or an engagement platform like CrewHu (both of which are integrated with IT Glue) in order to increase engagement in documentation, and track outcomes. If there are rewards, your team will be more encouraged to start documenting more often, and that can help them get used to the idea.

Develop a Rhythm

The fourth step is to develop a rhythm. If your strategy for documenting is “whenever we have the time”, you’ll never have the time. You need to have a regular time set aside to ensure that documentation is complete, or make it part of relevant routines. Any time something is updated the documentation must also be updated, too, for example. Having a regular pattern of documenting, and the discipline to stick to that pattern, will make it easier to establish a regular rhythm for documentation. But as the documentation evangelist, it is up to you to take charge of this – be the one with the rhythm and show the others the value.

Most of being a documentation evangelist is encouraging others to maintain and update documentation. But for yourself, in order to maintain your enthusiasm for the role, just remember that documentation evangelism is about an end goal of establishing a strong, consistent, and reliable documentation culture throughout your organization.

To learn more about how IT Glue can improve the quality of your documentation, and give you a competitive advantage, sign up for a demo today.

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