I believe in barely sufficient documentation but Corporations equate paper weight with safety.
I have been asked to produce technical documentation. Actually this has happened more than once. My team’s haven’t needed this stuff – the requests came from outside the team. Unfortunately it took time from the team to produce. While they were doing that they weren’t writing code. So my starting point is always “Just say ‘no'”.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t aways work. The bottom line is that if the guy controlling the purse strings wants paper, you have to give them paper. Doesn’t seem like a good use of money to me, but it is their choice.
I did manage to cheat once and satisfy a client with a Class Relationship Diagram automatically generated from the database with a free tool.
Unfortunately, on another occasion, I had to take a bunch of people out of coding for a couple of weeks to write an architectural documentation suite. All of this is a complete waste of everybody’s time. The documents were stale as soon as they were produced – sometimes before.
None-the-less these documents gave the sponsor in that corporation a sense of safety. We produced the documents and then went back to doing our real job – changing the world through software.