[Authors Note: There’s a very interesting discussion brewing about what artifacts are good and what artifacts are bad. Check it out.]
Just as artifacts from ancient times give us information about early man, the documents and presentations you create in IT can give insight into your technology initiatives.
We know relatively little about the humans that were roaming the earth thousands of years ago. But because we have the artifacts they left behind–pots, arrowheads, and so forth–we have a glimpse give us a glimpse into their daily lives and who they were.
Artifacts (documents, Powerpoint presentations, spreadsheets, etc.) also allow a glimpse into the processes that are happening in your IT organization. Learning how to encourage the creation of artifacts is an essential part of managing an IT department.
The power of the artifact
An artifact is anything crafted by human hand that is left behind. This can be a product, a training manual, help documentation, project management documentation, or anything else which is tangible. Most of the time artifacts are documentation or diagrams of some sort but they can also be the finished product or some piece of the finished product.