What is it? Documentation is an important part of almost every workplace. Good documentation can do the following:
- Provide information for customers
- Provide information for upcoming shifts / other employees
- Avoid duplication of work
- Satisfy regulator bodies (warranties, state agencies etc.)
- Satisfy employers
Why is it important? A person who documents their work appropriately appears professional to customers, coworkers, and employers. Good documentation shows that you have done good work.
How long should it be? Provide enough information for both a technician and a customer to understand what you’ve done, but don’t include too much information or any unnecessary information, as this could potentially confuse the customer.
Too short: I fixed the problem.
Too Long: First I turned the car on. Then I listened for sounds. I drove the car around the block approximately four time. I heard a knocking sound on the right side. I opened the hood…etc.
Good length: After a thorough road test, I heard a knocking sound coming from the right side of the front end. Following a thorough garage inspection, I identified the problem as a damaged CV joint.
- Provide enough information that future technicians will know what you did
- Provide enough information that customer service representatives or other technicians will be able to explain your work to customers
- Your write-up does not have to be crystal clear to a totally nontechnical audience (i.e., a customer who knows nothing about your profession), but it can’t hurt to make it understandable to any reader.