Documentation debt

You’ll know it when you feel it; too many meetings, too much management overhead, and hiring more people isn’t really producing as much output as it should be.

This is caused by a debt of documentation; when the people on the team have spent too much time working in the business, and not enough time working on it.

In A World Without Email, Cal Newport covers Optimize Enterprises and its founder Brian Johnson. One particularly interesting workflow involves each person thinking of how to improve processes first thing in the morning: 

“Every employee of Optimize is expected to spend at least the first ninety minutes of every day in a deep work block, free from inputs (some people, like the manager profiled above, spend much more). One of the key uses of this morning block is to think about processes and how to improve them.”

As remote work continues getting more popular, making sure everyone has time to work on the business, and not just in it, is going to become more important. Similarly, making sure knowledge is freed up from just a person’s head, and into documentation or other processes, is going to be important.

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