Why Documentation is Like Investing

Have you ever found yourself frustrated by a project that seems to lack any clear rationale or purpose? In the fast-paced world of marketing, this is a common scenario, often caused by a lack of documentation. Much like how investing requires foresight and patience, good documentation can yield significant long-term benefits. But, just as buying a new TV might seem more appealing than saving for retirement, diving into new projects can seem more exciting than documenting them.

Smoother Project Builds

Creating documentation ahead of time will make the build 100x easier. With clear agreements from all parties involved on what should be included, what is out of scope, and what business challenge the project aims to solve, the building process becomes streamlined. There’s less room for error, and new team members can get up to speed quickly. This foresight pays off significantly, especially during critical campaign launches or when scaling your efforts.

The Long-Term Payoff

Many marketing teams acknowledge that documentation is beneficial but often claim there isn’t enough time for it. They believe it will slow them down and reduce the number of new projects they can deliver. However, this approach often leads to more time spent troubleshooting than innovating. Imagine a team constantly chasing their tail, trying to figure out why something is broken because the person who knows the answer left the company two years ago. In contrast, teams with thorough documentation can quickly identify the rationale behind setups and understand how different systems work together, allowing them to focus more on building and less on fixing.

Overcoming Common Excuses

It’s easy to dismiss documentation as a tedious task that can be postponed. Yet, this mindset can cripple productivity and innovation. Consider the following common excuses:

  • “We don’t have time to document.”
  • “Our projects are too dynamic for documentation.”
  • “Everyone knows what they’re doing.”

Each of these excuses ignores the hidden costs of inefficiency and knowledge loss. By investing time in documentation, you’re safeguarding against future setbacks and ensuring smoother operations.

Final Thoughts

In marketing, as in finance, thinking ahead and preparing for the future is crucial. By investing in comprehensive documentation, you’re not only setting your current team up for success but also paving the way for future growth and efficiency. Just as with financial investments, the benefits of good documentation will grow and compound, providing lasting value for your marketing efforts. So, next time you’re tempted to skip the documentation, remember: it’s an investment in your team’s future.

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