The Importance of Technical Documentation.

The Importance of Technical Documentation.

Some of you may wonder why CCS (and me) are sticklers about the need to properly document things, and to follow that documentation.  Whether you are working on business or home based projects this is critically important. When this isn’t handled properly various problems can arise, especially if you are on the receiving end of things…

As a recent personal example of this was:

Electrical issues…

During the construction of my current home, I was fortunate to have a say in planning the type as well as placement of all light fixtures.  Part of my master plan was to eventually install ceiling fans in the living room and master bedroom.   So thinking ahead, I requested that the Electrician preinstall all metal light fixture outlet boxes that were capable of supporting a ceiling fan (weighing at least 40 pounds) in both rooms.  Additionally, a request was made for the living room switch-boxes be configured to support a separate switch for the ceiling fan light. All of this was included in detailed, typed instructions, along with the placement instructions for all of the fixtures. This was required, because neither the contractor, nor I was going to be present to supervise the installation.

However, despite having made these detailed instructions, I found out, after the fact (over ten years later), that the Electrician (a sub-contractor) had neglected to install a ceiling fan outlet box in the master bedroom, and had failed to properly wire the living room ceiling fan light switch.

It’s a bit irritating to have to stop a project because someone else didn’t do their job properly, and it’s a bit unsettling to experience to have your Television shutoff just as you turn off the ceiling fan light!

Fortunately, with a little time, effort, and expense, I was able to correct both of these problems. However, what the above clearly points out is:

  • Technical documentation is only as good as the ability or willingness of a person(s) to follow it

  • Project documentation should be reviewed ahead of time, during, and afterward in order to confirm the completeness of the project at hand. – Having a poor plan is sometimes worse than having no plan at all.

  • When a project is complete, changes and updates made should also be reflected in the documentation. – Most of us are not going to remember details, months (or perhaps years) later.  A little extra time can go a long way here.

  • Considerable time, frustration, and expense can be incurred by not properly documenting, or considering things.- Time is money.  If either you or CCS has to spend more time on something, this results in increased support costs.  This is especially critical  for you if the issue involves recovering a system that is down, or if it involves some other time sensitive issue.

If you are contemplating any major projects involving your systems, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department for a review.

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