One of the most dreaded tasks – writing documentations

Almost every people hates writing documentation. It usually takes place only after everything is done where it is very difficult to recall all the tiny details. And it is likely that nobody else will read it since the person who wrote it has all the knowledge in their head.  That’s why a lot of technical people dread writing documentations.

Sarah Maddox has given an very useful and interesting presentation with tips on making documentation more useful and engaging.

By increasing the engage-ability of the documentation, it increases the value of the documentation as

  • more people is likely to read the documentation
  • more people will be encouraged to contribute to the documentation
  • more people will be encouraged to keep it updated
  • more people will share their experiences too

A wiki helps to increase the engage-ability of the documentation by

  • making it easier to create documentation during the project rather than end of the project
  • making it easier to search (with a in-built search engine)
  • making it easier to share and link related information (with threaded comments on the same page)

You can download the slides together with her notes at her blog.

http://ffeathers.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/summit2010-earthmove-sarahmaddox-slideswithnotes.pdf

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Confluence Sharepoint Connector 1.2 released

The latest version of the Confluence SharePoint Connector has been released.  The key features in this release are:

  • Support for SharePoint 2010
  • Integrated Windows Authentication
  • Easy Connection to Additional SharePoint Site Collections
  • Multiple AD Domains

Confluence SharePoint Connector allows Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) users to tap on the strengths of Confluence wiki and its extensive plug-ins:

  • viewing SharePoint content on Confluence and vice versa
  • search within the content of pdf documents attached on Confluence pages
  • drawing diagrams online with the Gliffy plugin
  • drawing mockups with Balsamiq Mockups
  • and many other plugins

While documents are commonly used for work,  web pages are a better way to share information and collaboration.  One of the strongest evidence is the Internet, where there are more web pages than documents. For a quick overview of the Confluence SharePoint Connector, check out the video below.

For more details on the new features of Confluence SharePoint Connector 1.2, please refer to the release notes

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Championing Improvement Initiatives for Your Company

Margaret Heffernan posted an interesting article on How to Champion an Idea: Tips from the Invention of the Post-It Note

Post It Notes were invented 30 years ago, but it wasn’t a huge success upfront and a lot of people were sceptical about it. Nevertheless, Geoff Nicholson persisted and that’s why we have Post-It being used pervasively around us (including the sweet love story in the video below).

The key ideas being shared are:

  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Start small to get buy in
  • Get valid use cases and measure benefits to help in your justification
  • Don’t give up

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Is Social Media for the Enterprise

Social Media is leading a revolution in the way we communicate and a “Content Explosion” on the Internet.

From the video above, we can see that it is going on strong growth in personal use and many organizations are also trying out.  There are also stories about bosses complaining their employees productivity going down when a lot of time is spent on Facebook or important information being leaked out.

For those who can see the value and use it to their advantage, it is definitely going to make a difference to their organization. Even the US military thinks that the pros outweight the cons by lifting off the ban on Facebook.

Social Media is a double-edged sword. For those who are willing to give it a try, these are my recommendations

  • have a clear idea what are your objectives to adopt Social Media (Begin with the end in mind)
  • assess on the risks/costs versus the benefits
  • provide policies or mechanisms to mitigate your risks
  • provide clear guidelines and expectations upfront on the usage
  • start on a small scale to assess the suitability for your organization first
  • start internally if you are very concerned with the security of your information

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