Are you someone working within a regulated industry that has extensive documentation requirements? Or does your company or client insist that you adhere to a documentation-heavy process? Although you may be thinking that the agile ideal that you have been striving for is now just a pipe dream, fear not! If you’ll be at STARCANADA 2019 in Toronto on Wednesday, October 23rd, then I can show you how to get back on the path towards agile documentation bliss.

The key to the solution is automation — rather than waiting until the end of a release to pull together the information required for a regulatory document, and instead of burdening your teams with updating documentation during each sprint, you can instead take the human completely (well, mostly) out of the picture. This allows your teams to embrace the agile principle of “Working software over comprehensive documentation” and focus on activities that bring value to the end customer.

The key elements of the document generation solution are:

  1. Define a single source of truth for the information to be documented – Working with multiple systems of record is confusing, and you run the risk of the data in each system becoming out of sync.
  2. Define the format of the document to be generated – As part of this activity, determine which information must be filled in manually. Realistically, not all of the information in your document can be automatically generated.
  3. Train your team to use the source of truth – Although your team may claim that they want to reduce the amount of time that they spend on producing documentation, they may still fall back into old habits. Updating relevant processes and training your staff can help mitigate this problem.
  4. Update legacy data as needed – Make sure that the information to be included in a document is present for data that existed before you started your documentation generation journey. Without these updates, your document generator will fail, perhaps at an inopportune time.

I’ll also talk about how to turn your documentation generation MVP into a full-fledged document generation solution that can be used to address all of your organization’s documentation woes.

If this sounds like something that you are interested in, I encourage you to check out my talk on the STARCANADA 2019 website. If you simply must learn more and want to speak with me directly about document generation, please register for the conference. I look forward to seeing everyone in Toronto this fall!

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