How do personas, golden paths and problem statements hang together? It’s a bit like proper nutrition, exercise and loosing weight – you don’t have to complete everything at once but at least getting started on each of them is a good idea.

Here’s my advice and I’ve been at this for two decades. I have not been everywhere and I’d never pretend to know everything but here’s a good way to get started particularly if your documentation is a disaster.

Wait, this sounds like a lot of work. I need results now because my documentation’s a disaster!

Let’s say your documentation has been left to grow weeds. What’s left is a combination of stuff that’s years out of date, a pile of release notes written by whoever could be forced into it, and ad-hoc procedures cobbled together by support and account managers.

You’re not alone. Here’s we can get you moving.

  • Step 1 – Come up with the first personas. In an enterprise product the doc set can take a long time to produce but let’s at least figure out who we want to help first. We’ll prioritize initial personas for whom documentation can help put out fires that are costing you money or credibility. It may only be three or four personas.
  • Step 2 – List the tasks for which those key personas need to have documentation. 
  • Step 3 – Organize the tasks to be documented into work packages.

In other words:

Who do you want to help first, and with what? 

How do we prioritize? Ask tech support. They’ll know where the most time is being wasted repeating the same information over and over, and where the costly re-work is taking place. Here’s an example table that may help you visualize how I can help you get started.