Consolidating documentation allows for a single source of truth accessible to all members of an organization regardless of role. It also allows for the traceability of decisions made in the past and better overall efficiency, since teams spend less time searching for or duplicating documentation.
The source of truth
It's one thing to write documentation, but it should also be retrievable. Keeping all documentation in one place makes it easy for employees to search the documentation and find what they're looking for.
By documenting past decisions, teams can remember why certain decisions have been made. This documentation also clarifies if specific discussions still need to be held, ensuring you can focus on the essential questions instead of repeatedly returning to the same conversations.
Next to that, enforcing past decisions will become easier if you can trace back the decision and the arguments that were made for it in the past.
Having a single source of truth for documentation accessible to all team members, regardless of their role, allows cross-team collaboration on creating any type of necessary documentation.
When it comes to maintenance, coworkers can also collaborate even if they work in another department. Has a policy changed that affects multiple teams? These teams can now co-write the changes, ensuring things are kept up-to-date.
A single documentation repository supports aligning different departments on a ubiquitous language, the clearly defined set of terms used across the whole company for clear communication and shared understanding.
End-to-end policies also become clear since you don’t need to visit multiple tools to figure out how teams interface. You can see how the customer journey flows from one end of the organization to another.
Because the documentation is stored in one place, employees spend less time asking (and answering) questions because they know where to find the information they need. If they can't find the documentation, they immediately know to add it.
This avoids duplicated or outdated documentation. Your team will spend less time maintaining the documentation.
For instance, an engineering team member may provide instructions to a support agent. The support agent uses these instructions to resolve a technical issue for a customer. If the two teams have different documentation tools and the instructions change, support staff could cause additional problems. However, if the engineer can update one document used by all teams, everyone is kept up-to-date.
By spending time on consolidation, teams can collaborate more effectively when creating and maintaining any necessary documentation, align different departments on the ubiquitous language, and ensure that documentation is up-to-date and easily retrievable.