How to make your PC More effective – Part 4 – Documentation

Brent Roberts

Documentation

Good documentation is essential to getting maximum value from a PC.

Useful documentation must cover ‘What to do’ when things go wrong as well as ‘What to do’ when everything is working correctly. The ‘How to do’ must be covered as well. Make sure a hard copy of the documentation is stored near the computer so it can be accessed while the PC is busy with other work. Hard copy documentation is also useful if the PC becomes inoperative.

A copy of all documentation should be stored off-site as well, to cover situations such as;

  • Fire in the building,
  • Flood cuts off access to the building,
  • Earthquake damages the building,
  • Plane crash into building,
  • Any other event that limits access to the building.

Documentation should be written in a voice the ‘End Users’ understand, using terms they are familiar with. Flow charts are valuable tools for helping understand the operation of a system. It may be worth considering the use of video files as part of the package. Documentation should be reviewed every 12 to 18 months to make sure any changes to the system are covered. Powerful PC systems are less effective if the operator doesn’t know how to use them correctly.

Good documentation makes training new staff quicker and easier. It is a valuable resource that should not be overlooked.

For additional information about documentation see the links below.

http://www.linfo.org/documentation.html
http://www.hci.com.au/hcisite5/library/default.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_documentation
http://www.answers.com/topic/system-documentation

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