For a business to thrive, clearly written documentation should be in place. It is an important part of the work environment, especially when employees are using technology, working in teams, and working remotely.
High-stress levels caused by completing work and meeting deadlines are chronic issues for people in a work environment. Problems with communication could add to the stress. Missing or poorly written documentation leads to loss of productivity; whereas, good, clear communication results in stability and productivity.
Improved User Experience
The goal of clear documentation is to create a positive user experience, especially when people interact with:
- Web applications
- Information websites
- eCommerce websites
- Stand-alone documents
These areas are significant to a company’s IT department, which probably spends a large part of its budget creating documents to help users navigate the areas. The idea is to provide accessible information, so users quickly understand what they are to do. The result is a reduction in support calls.
Benefits of Clear Documentation
Other benefits of clear documentation exist for any department within a business. They include the following items, which is not an exhaustive list:
- Less confusion and fewer complaints
- Fewer questions and calls (improved customer service and satisfaction)
- Reduced workload for a department so staff can focus on current projects
- Saved time and money due to reduced errors and misunderstandings throughout the company
- Easier staff training
- Increased productivity throughout the company
Think about why users are calling your department regardless of whether they are working onsite or remotely. They are busy with deadlines, etc. They need to understand procedures and processes quickly as they apply them to do their work. However, if they do not understand from departmental or company documentation how to navigate the company’s systems, they make numerous calls and submit more emails to your department for help. Departmental employees spend more time answering these calls and emails and solving the related issues than they do on their own work.
Issues with Poorly Written Documentation
Why are users having difficulty? It could be because employees have little time to devote to reading through lengthy, jargon-filled documents. It could also be due to one or more of the following reasons:
- The support documents are not written in a logical order to make them easier to follow.
- The documents are not well designed, which distracts from their topics.
- The writing is too complex with long sentences, and IT-related jargon and acronyms.
- The directions are unclear or impossible to understand.
- The documents are not written for non-IT personnel. They do not always get to the purpose and how it applies to the customer’s job.
The total cost of business transaction management can come from problems related to poorly written documentation. This can result in incurring thousands to millions of dollars from lost time and lost money per year, depending on the size of the organization. For a breakdown of these costs, see my blog post titled “What My Research Discovered about the Cost of Poorly Written Documentation.”
“The Effects of Poor Communication in Business” found at https://smallbusiness.chron.com/effects-poor-communication-business-345.html