Tuesday, June 25, 2024


This is a question that I ask so often and the reason I do that is to get an answer that I think someone knows, but I am not certain and/or get them to think about why.

As a documentor being able to ask someone why they are doing something in a specific way can help provide either an answer to that standard question or it might not. I have asked that question before and the answer I got back was “Because it’s how it’s always been done.” In some many jobs you are taught by someone how to do a specific task, and you will continue to do it that way because that is how you do it or at least that is how the other person did it. It is amazing when you can look at the specific task and take it apart step by step that you may find an easier way of doing something. For me, I will sit and listen to the person explain the task and make lots of notes, and then see if there is an easier way to do that task and get the same results.

When you can ask that simple question of “Why do you …” it will make people think about why they are doing something and how they are doing it. It is a matter of sitting back and thinking about a process and how it might be done differently. Also asking the question, “Why?” can help with the documentation, especially if there are specific steps that are required. In some jobs there are specific tasks/steps that must be performed and for a lot of people they just become routine, and they don’t think about them at all.

Here are so different ways of asking questions that will give you different answers.

  • Why do you do this specific step before another step?
  • Why do you do have to take copies of the item so many times?
  • Why does it work that way?

It is always fun when you can sit back and think through a process and see ways to improve it, even if they are just small changes. Some of those small changes and make the process a lot easier to do and maybe even faster to accomplish.

Why, seems like such a simple word, but it can spark a conversation that will provide a lot of information. Yes, there are times when I may sound silly asking that question quite a few times, but the more detail I can get the better documentation I can do. Sure, just watching a person do a job is one way to document it but understand the steps and why they are doing something is also a key part of understanding the job so that it can be documented.

So, next time you hear me ask “Why” understand that I am trying to make sure that you also know why you are doing a specific task a specific way.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Docs or It Didn't Happen

On your job, how many times have you been asked for the documentation to back up your decision or your work? Well, here is why documentation is so important when it comes to work.

  1. Provides guidance to someone else if you are unable to do the task, such as when you are on vacation or maybe just too busy to get everything done or no longer with the company.
  2. Helps to provide why something is done in a specific way.
  3. Provides the necessary steps in a process to ensure that a business can continue to operate.

What is funny about writing this is so many individuals in IT don’t like writing documentation or even quick notes about why something is being done a specific way. I know that as someone that enjoys writing documentation, I normally get a very funny look when I say I love writing documentation. Yes, documentation can be a challenge to write, but in so many ways it is also enjoyable because you can help a department, or a business get the necessary notes down, so everyone is working the same way.

For various departments there are different needs for the documentation, but I do know that for IT departments it can the virtual process that needs to be done if the servers are compromised or if there is damage to the equipment and how does the department get everything up and running again because downed servers mean people aren’t able to get work done.

I have once heard someone say that “If I document what I do, it means that they can replace me easily, but if I don’t document stuff they need to keep me.” Well, that might sometimes work, but there are also the times that not documenting something can mean that you end up being a cost to the business, and you will be replaced. Knowing how to write the documents is also important because it can help others as well as yourself. If the document is good, you can even use it as a reference when you are doing a task that you don’t do frequently.

Docs or it didn’t happen is something that I have heard so often when talking to people, but these same people are the ones that don’t write the documentation. So, next time you are doing something think about the steps that you do and maybe make some notes even if it isn’t every step but at least it could remind you how to do something quickly or it could help someone else.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Working as a team

There are so many times that a decision made by one person can impact how others are working. In any company it is very important that if a decision is made that could impact others it needs to be communicated before any changes happen.

Being part of a team is very important in any business, and seeing how a decision that is made by one individual can impact others is important to think about. In some cases, the decision will probably be good idea, and everyone will be happy with it, but then there are times when the decision can make it harder for someone else to complete their tasks.

The best idea is when you are thinking about changing how something is done, and you aren’t the only one that uses the information, it is a good idea to ensure that everyone has some input into how things are going to be handled. In some cases, the change might be a great idea, and it will be agreed upon as a good idea, but there may be cases when the idea isn’t the best idea for everyone.

Having the chance to talk about a change before it is made is a lot better than finding out about a change after it has been done. A change that impacts a group of people really does need to be discussed, instead of just doing it because you think it’s a good idea. I recently had to deal with such a change, and it impacted how I did things. It didn’t just impact how I did the stuff with the software, it impacted how I was making my notes so that all had to be changed. If I had been told about the change before it was made, it would have meant that I now don’t have to redo a lot of the work that I have already done.

Being part of a team is how we all work, and making sure that all the team members are aware of any upcoming changes is very important. A change can make it easier for everyone to work, or it can entirely change how some of the team now must work. So, next time you have an idea to change how something is done, think about who else either uses the application or software and if the change will impact them. Being a team player is very important in business and being anti-team isn’t a good idea.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Hiding behind a screen name

Something that I have been noticing more and more are people that will make negative comments either on Facebook or on YouTube videos. In several cases, the person isn’t using their own name so that they can hide before the screen and just be negative to others.

I am a moderator or an administration for a few Facebook groups and I have noticed that people seem to like making negative comments. Recently there was a simple comment made in one of the groups, and then it blew up into a bunch of back-and-forth negative comments, and of course this happens when you are not monitoring the group. By the time I got to see the chat it had got bad, so I had to step in and take care of this situation. The result was lots of comments were removed and everyone got a warning about being kind and considerate to each other. I really wonder how many people would say these comments to a person if they were in person. I think part of it is that people think they can say anything they want because they are hiding behind a screen.

While watching YouTube videos, I look through some of the comments, and it is amazing how many people will say hurtful comments to a person. I have seen people say a YouTuber was fat, they were insensitive to others, they think too much of themselves. These are just a few of the comments that I have seen. Of course, these are people that are trying to hurt the YouTuber, but I have seen a lot of the YouTubers either ignore the comments or talk about them on their channels with a reply of if you don’t like watching my channel, there are a lot of other channels you can go and watch.

Yes, I so agree with the comment that there are a lot of other channels on YouTube or groups on Facebook that you can belong to. If you don’t like something that someone has said on social media, the best thing you can do is scroll by it. In the case of YouTube, maybe unsubscribe from the channel if you don’t like the person. On Facebook you can either just scroll past the comment and say nothing, which is the best idea, or if you don’t like how a group is managed you can always leave the group.

Hiding behind a screen name may make you think you are better than others, but really what you are doing is showing a weakness that you have. If you can only say negative things about people, remember that everyone has feelings, and we need to respect each other.