Documentation in any workplace is rarely consolidated into one area. In an engineering firm, technical documentation services are a key element of the business. Our IDS (Integrated Documentation System) exists to fill that business need, but documentation exists at every level of AKA. When we consider documentation more as a philosophy than a service, we unlock the true power of what it can do for us.
For example, a design specification that is stored online is clearly technical documentation, but the site that houses the specification is also documentation. The site, in this case, catalogues a control environment for client documentation. Drawings are visual-based documentation of engineering designs; but so are the drawing lists that organize them.
Technical writers need a deep understanding and respect for documentation no matter where it exists in an organization. Seeing documentation as a philosophy can empower a wide variety of teams. Shipping teams can begin to recognize photo documentation as a key element of record keeping along with waybills. Field teams may even see daily emailed logs as a strong means of keeping people informed, rather than letting everything wait for a field report at the end.
At Aspin Kemp & Associates, we see documentation as a way of life. It is a necessary part of our day-to-day activity, wherever we work, and everyone contributes. For IDS personnel, it is the air we breathe and we are always ready to be mentors.