Development Phase

With your draft in hand, you'll begin working with the team to write full documentation. This phase is interesting, because the team is simultaneously building and documenting the product. There are a few different techniques for doing this. Often the documentation development lifecycle looks like this:

  • Development begins—documentation fiction writing begins
  • Development completes—documentation fiction verification begins
  • Documentation is reviewed

Writing Fiction

As the team begins building the product, you can also begin writing documentation fiction. Just like your favorite made up story, documentation fiction is your documentation for the final product as you imagine it will be. Because you have the epic, user stories, and acceptance criteria, you can write some very well informed fiction. That said, rapid change is part of agile, so be ready to revise the fiction as needed. As you write, add placeholders for content you're not yet sure about or images that can't yet be taken.

Verifying Fiction

When the part of the product you're working on is complete, you can read through your documentation fiction and verify it's accuracy. This is also the time to replace placeholders with content and add images of the completed product. And just like that, your made up documentation has become a final draft ready for review.

Review

The best content is written by the entire team. Once one team member has written content, it's best to have one or two other teammates review it. Generally, you'll want to evaluate two different things:

  • Grammar and style—Whether it's "who" or "whom", it's important that your content is written in a unified voice using proper grammar. Be sure to use a style guide, otherwise content written within an agile process won't feel right because each individual writer employs their own personal style.
  • Technical accuracy—Make sure what you wrote is true to life. This is best done by the person(s) who built the product functionality directly, since it should be fresh in their head.

Be sure to review new documentation as soon as it's written. Lagging behind with documentation can can lead to out-of-date information or misinformation because teams typically move quickly to the next task.

Next Up!
Testing Phase

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