A Foolish, Serendipitous Start

Sometimes when starting a new project, it’s good to spend some time reading and playing with ideas before making a methodical plan. This may not be progress in the traditional sense, but it may help you:

  • Envision success and see obstacles more clearly.
  • Identify what is not important and foresee ideas you might have to argue against.
  • Step back and ask some important philosophical questions that will help you understand the people involved.
  • Find connections that are not obvious.

The Value of Program Documentation

By Deborah Vrabel

Documentation is a coherent record of your organization’s most important, meaningful activities, methods, and outcomes. It shows—through text, images, recordings, and artifacts—that a program or project is active, exciting, and fruitful.

It also is an effective but underutilized strategy for improving program sustainability.

Well-planned and executed documentation offers five benefits that all lead to stronger, more sustainable programs:

  1. Increases visibility
  2. Builds relationships
  3. Strengthens implementation
  4. Enriches evaluation
  5. Expands funding opportunities

Effective documentation helps you tell a coherent story that highlights the most important activities and features of a project or program. Building this story does not have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming if you:

  • Use your imagination.
  • Develop and implement a simple, realistic documentation plan.
  • Follow and regularly revisit the plan.
  • Promote awareness, involvement, and resourcefulness.