A Tip on Agile Documentation

To give credit, I picked up this tip from Elizabeth Hendrickson:

To check whether people are actually reading long technical requirements or design documents, liberally sprinkle the text with ridiculous quotes, like “My HoverCraft is Full of Eels.”

The basic idea is that very few people actually read long technical documentation. So why do we create long technical documents. Elizabeth related that she’s been doing this for a while, but very few people ever catch the phrases and thus very few people are reviewing these ‘important’ documents.

She said she once had a developer who came up to her after reading something she sent around for reviews and asked about this hovercraft thing. Being from the QA/Testing side of the house, Elizabeth really liked working with this developer. As a manager I find myself creating very few of these documents so I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but I expect the experiment to be very enjoyable.