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Allen White

Document, Document, Document

A while back I blogged about using Checklists, but there's another task you want to incorporate into your workflow - documentation.

Now, I'm not just talking about documenting the logic, system flow and data and structure changes, I'm also talking about documenting your daily activities (commonly referred to as a journal.) It's amazing how useful a private journal can be when you need to revisit the thought process you went through to develop the processes you're implementing.

I'm also talking about creating summary reports - even if they're only going in your own files - detailing how the implementation of a project went, the successes and failures, the unforeseen issues that came up, and even the political reactions, if they occurred. (It's good to be able to go back and later refer to who helped and who didn't.)

Lastly, you should create a form of incident report any time any issue arises. Even if it was a minor issue, not necessarily related to work you'd done, it's good to have a record of the problem, the perceived problem (they're not always the same), the resolution, and any thoughts on how the problem could have been avoided or prevented.

When you've got this kind of documentation, you'll be able to answer any critics, even well after the real issues have been long ago resolved.

Allen

Published Saturday, March 13, 2010 2:43 PM by AllenMWhite

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Niels Grove-Rasmussen said:

Agree - this is described in detail in SQL Server 2000 Operation Guide - Chapter 2: Change, Configuration, and Release Management.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc966506.aspx

It is rather simple to create a SharePoint list to handle the basics. The challenge is mostly pedagogic... ;-)

March 17, 2010 5:21 PM

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About AllenMWhite

Allen White is a consultant and mentor for Upsearch Technology Services in Northeast Ohio. He has worked as a Database Administrator, Architect and Developer for over 30 years, supporting both the Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server platforms over that period.

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