System Documentation

  • How much could your business save in time and money if it was more efficient?
  • Could your IT systems be rebuilt from documentation alone if it became necessary?
Up to date and accurate documentation of IT systems serves many roles in a business. In fact, there are not many changes to an IT system that can be made without having sound existing documentation. Future planning requires knowing how to move from the present into the future, which requires knowledge of the current state. Budgeting requires knowledge of the level of support & maintenance on the current system that can be expected. Scaling a system will require statistics on the current capacity of the system.

If you have just gone through a period of accelerated growth and find that your IT documentation is lacking, your system may require a full technical audit. If you have existing documentation, but realise it is not being kept up to date / being used efficiently then it is probably time to have your documentation policies and procedures re-aligned to the business workflow.

Publications & References For Consideration

Policies & Procedures

  • Are you updating your policies and procedures in line with technology changes?
  • Is the framework your IT policies and procedures are based on scalable as you grow?
  • Are you policies, procedures, and actual staff actions aligned correctly with the rest of the business philosophy?
Policies within a business allow for navigation points as procedures change to respond to the business environment. In this way, they should align with each other, and with the overarching business philosophy. With IT, the environment changes fast. It is easy to wind up with procedures that do not match the policies due to changes made by too many people too fast. It is also easy to wind up with an organisational culture that no longer follows the IT procedures because they were never bothered to be updated in the first place.

If policies are not flexible enough to allow procedure changes, or procedure changes not kept up to date, it is very possible that the use of IT systems will inhibit organic efficiency gains in the organisational culture. The answer to “Why don’t we do this digitally as it would be so much quicker” becomes “Because the procedure will not allow it”. On the other side, an organisational culture that breaks away from procedures with regards to IT is likely to create just as many problems as it may solve. With a good set of policies and procedures, and adequate staff training, the risk of this situation occurring can be mitigated.

Publications & References For Consideration