MacGyvering your docs


"So, your project needs better docs. For that, you'd need lots of people. Professionalism. A well-thought out plan. All the tools. And a whopping budget in both time and money.

Instead, you're sitting there, with just a few paperclips, seven moldy Mentos mints, a strip of Duct tape, a pencil and some nail polish remover...

Oh, hang on! There's also the combined experiences of generations of people fighting seemingly insurmountable odds. From environmental activists to LGBTQ people taking to the streets, we can draw on a rich history of inspired individuals taking whatever is at hand, mixed with some clever zaniness to quite fabulous effect.

So, what if we apply an activist mindset and some DIY hacking into our process? What lessons can we learn from a world where TOC means Theory Of Change, where working on a shoestring budget is the norm and where empowering people to go beyond what they think they can do is considered mission-critical?

To be clear: the aim here is not to knock professionalism in docs, quite the contrary! Yet, faced with a lack of resources, 'bend the rules and get going' sure beats lethargy. Not to mention being fun...

(And before you think I'll be bringing back the dreaded mullet: the next MacGyver will be a woman, according to"

  • Conference: Write the Docs EU
  • Year: 2015

About the speaker

Paul Roeland