Importance of Documentation

Experts and Influential Leaders Discuss the Importance of Documentation

 

Experts, Industry Leaders and Influencers Agree, Proper Documentation is Essential!

Not only for your own credibility but the credibility of the organization you represent.

Many individuals claim that they fail to document due to a lack of time. But the reality is that they do not fully comprehend the value of creating proper documentation.

This is like individuals not seeing the value of car, home or life insurance until disaster strikes.

Erase Risk with Proper Documentation Erase Your Risk with Proper Documentation

You may not feel that you need documentation, but what happens when you do?

You can’t buy insurance after an accident and you can’t write detailed documentation after your actions are questioned.

We recently reached out to experts and leaders in different fields and asked them their views on the need for documentation.

Below are their insights.

As you will read below, the Importance of Documentation is clear.

Importance of Documentation in Digital Forensics

Brett Shavers : Digital forensics practitioner, author, and instructor.

I also agree with the importance of notes, especially after having had an experience where I did not take notes (nor did anyone else) in one particular case.

That was a nightmare that I made sure never happened again.

If you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen.

Brett Shavers
Digital Forensics Practitioner, Author, and Instructor

Author of "Placing the Suspect Behind the Keyboard", "Hiding Behind the Keyboard", and the "X-Ways Forensics Practitioner’s Guide". 
Brett Shavers Blog

Heather Mahalik : SANS Instructor

I am old school and like to keep notes on paper and store it in a case file. However, it's nice to have electronic notes for ease of reporting.

Heather Mahalik
Senior Instructor - SANS Institute

Co-author of "Practical Mobile Forensics" and Technical Editor of "Learning Android Forensics".
FOR 585 - Advanced Smartphone Forensics

Greg Smith : Mobile Forensics & Telecomms Consultant : Institute for Digital Forensics (IDF)

Contemporaneous Notes are unavoidable, thus inescapable, when it comes to examining evidence and are akin to the standard of Ethics.

They hold the examiner to their own account of conduct when no one else is around to witness what is happening.

Greg Smith
Mobile Forensics & Telecomms Consultant : Institute for Digital Forensics (IDF)

31+ years of experience in handling digital and mobile telephone evidence in criminal and civil investigations.
Principal Consulting Forensic Engineer DEEU, Institute for Digital Forensics (IDF), Chief Training Officer Mobile Telephone Examination Board (MTEB), Principal Trainer Trew MTE.  
Greg Smith Blog
LinkedIn Profile

Harlan Carvey

I have been in situation[s] where having case notes "saved" me, and seen where not having them has led to issues for others.

Harlan Carvey
Computer Forensics Author, Researcher & Practitioner

Author of "Windows Registry Forensics" and "Windows Forensic Analysis Toolkit". Developer of RegRipper.
Windows Incident Response Blog

Jacques Boucher

You wouldn't process a scene without keeping detailed notes of what you did. So why would processing a computer be any different?

Jacques Boucher
Computer Forensic Manager with the Government of Canada

Former Police Officer specializing in Computer Forensic Investigations. Masters Degree in Computing & Cybercrime Investigation.  
Jacques Boucher LinkedIn

Jaclaz

I learned to pay the maximum possible attention to details, to document everything, to keep archives - paper or digital - well ordered.

This is a key factor when and if you need - possibly years later - to review a project or to support or challenge claims in court. 

Verba volant, scripta manent

Jacopo - "Jaclaz"
Technical Consultant - Senior Forensic Focus Forum Member (3727+ Posts)

Jaclaz is an active and senior member of the Forensic Focus forums offering advice and guidance on a variety of questions. 
Forensic Focus Interview

Importance of Documenting HR Issues

Stuart Rudner : Employment Lawyer

As an Employment Lawyer, I know that documentation is critical.

Whether we are discussing allegations of misconduct, concerns regarding poor performance, the investigation of harassment, or accommodation requests, cases will be decided based upon the evidence, and not necessarily the truth.

When a client calls me to discuss how to deal with a chronically poor performing employee, the first thing I asked to see is their file. And in many cases, there is nothing more than a series of performance reviews which state that the employee "met expectations", or something like that. That will not justify summary dismissal.

In the context of requests for accommodation, employers must document their efforts to assess the need for accommodation and the options available. If they don't, they will be found to have breached their duty to accommodate.

Similarly, employers are often ordered to pay overtime to employees who claim vast amounts of extra hours when the employer has no records at all of the time worked.

In order to put yourself in a strong legal position, documentation is critical. Otherwise, you expose yourself to unnecessary liability and cost.

Stuart Rudner
Founding Partner of Rudner MacDonald LLP

Listed in "Best Lawyers in Canada"
Top Legal Social Media Influencer
Author on Employment Law
Termination for Just Cause Article
Rudner MacDonald LLP - Canadian Employment Law Firm

Importance of Documentation in Nursing & Healthcare

Dr. Renee Thompson : Nurse & Bullying Expert

If you are being bullied, START DOCUMENTING your experiences.

Documenting the bullying behavior is one of the most powerful weapons you can use to stop the cycle of bullying.

There are many nurses who have successfully addressed bullying behavior of their co-workers and their boss.

The one common strategy was that they all documented their experiences over time.

Creating a documentation trail helps establish a pattern of destructive behavior, which can help your organization take action against the bully.

Dr. Renee Thompson
Nurse Bullying Expert, Nurse & Influential Leader in Nursing

Renee is one of the most sought out speakers in the industry, repeatedly published, interviewed and awarded for her dedication to helping inspire current and future nurses.
Bullying in Nursing Article
Renee Thompson Speaks - Blog & Official Site

Nurse Keith Carlson - Holistic Career Coach and PodCast Host

Novice nurses and nursing students don’t like to hear it, but their notes and charts and clinical chicken scratch could very well one day be used as evidence in court, and my advice to new nurses is to always document as if a judge, jury or prosecuting lawyer is looking over your shoulder.

Rather than encouraging legal paranoia, this attitude simply serves to remind the nurse of his or her legal responsibility to be clear, concise, clinical, truthful and complete when documenting patient care.

Keith Carlson, RN
Expert Career Coach, Seasoned Nurse and PodCast Host

Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, speaker, author, and popular career columnist.
Nurse Keith Coaching
The Nurse Keith Show (podcast)

Importance of Documenting Workplace Bullying,
Harassment & Discrimination

Dr. Renee Thompson : Nurse & Bullying Expert

If you are being bullied, START DOCUMENTING your experiences.

Documenting the bullying behavior is one of the most powerful weapons you can use to stop the cycle of bullying.

There are many nurses who have successfully addressed bullying behavior of their co-workers and their boss.

The one common strategy was that they all documented their experiences over time.

Creating a documentation trail helps establish a pattern of destructive behavior, which can help your organization take action against the bully.

Dr. Renee Thompson
Nurse Bullying Expert, Nurse & Influential Leader in Nursing

Renee is one of the most sought out speakers in the industry, repeatedly published, interviewed and awarded for her dedication to helping inspire current and future nurses.
Bullying in Nursing Article
Renee Thompson Speaks - Blog & Official Site

Alan Eisenberg - Founder of Bullying Recovery

Documenting your bullying stories, you let others know that they are not alone in what they are going through. This is so important to the healing process of bullying recovery.

Forensic Notes let’s you do this safely and privately.

If you share your story, you may even save the life of other bullying survivors that find your story and realize they are not alone in their suffering.

Alan Eisenberg
Founder of Bullying Recovery, LLC

Bullying Recovery, LLC