Procedural Documentation

I am often responsible for designing procedures for complex tasks that may be passed onto users who lack the history for how certain procedures are born.  I frequent Lifehacker for GTD tips and inspiration.  Author of a recent posting “How to Start Using Procedure Checklists for Flawless Task Execution” used an example that I will use here.

“When the spouse of a cookbook author asked her why she always cut the roast in half and cooked it in two separate dishes. She told him that was how her mother did it, so she called her mother to ask why. The mother said that it was how the grandmother did it, so the author then called the grandmother and asked her why she cooked her roast in two pans. The grandmother laughed, explaining it had nothing to do with better cooking and everything to do with being too poor to buy a big roasting pan.”