I have noticed a re-occurring pattern when working the processes of my software configuration management group which manages many different software baselines; however, I imagine this problem is not speciffically unique to the SCM domain.
The basic scenario:
- A task needs to get done.
- The documentation for a process is referenced.
- When referencing the documentation it is noted that since the last time the procedure was performed, details have changed, or the procedure is incorrect, or because of x, y, or z this time is an exception to the process (just like last time).
- The task still must be completed but many questions must be asked.
- The process change needs to be documented to reflect the updated procedure.
- After updating the process documentation, a new task takes priority.
This vicious cycle makes trivial tasks unnecessarily complicated, and creates a very steep learning curve for new hires. In my observation it also slows productivity and reduces the ability for automation and efficiency in tools and workflows in general.
Is this the norm for a software configuration management team or process documentation in general? or is there a way to break this documentation update loop?