This video on simplifying business, using the metaphor of organising a children’s party, made me smile and consider how successful documentation projects are managed.
The presenter is suggesting managers need to, in complex systems, give up rigid control from above. Instead, they should watch for organisational patterns, encouraging the good and discouraging the bad.
The key to managing a documentation project is often more about negotiation than control. Many technical authors have found a simple but effective “attractor”: bring biscuits/cookies along to meetings with Subject Matter Experts. Rather than focusing purely a rigid project plan, perhaps more attention should be given to identifying the additional “attractors” you can create (more “jelly and ice cream”) and the “boundaries” you can establish. These may be more effective actions toward running a documentation project successfully.