5 Tips for Creating an Awesome Documentation Process
Let’s be honest…documentation is kind of a drag. The reality is that documenting a process for Salesforce, big data or IoT can be a daunting task, but more importantly, a necessary evil. Here are some tips I have for becoming a self-proclaimed documentation ROCKSTAR!
Tip #1 – Create a standard naming convention to use for all documents.
Creating a naming convention that is both descriptive and consistent will save users time and frustration when searching for the right document. There isn’t a single right way to name user guides, but developing a system that works for your business is the first step to documentation bliss.
Example: [Company Name] – [Short Description] – [Date (YYYY-MM-DD)]
Tip #2 – Add a descriptive header to each document.
Tell your readers key information at the top of your page by highlighting the topic, date created, version number and author. This will allow for an easy view of the document specs at first glance.
Tip #3 – Provide users with a high-level visual summary of your documentation process.
According to Hubspot, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
By providing your audience with a visual summary, you can highlight the high-level process before diving into the meat and potatoes. Tools like Lucid Chart allow you to easily create charts and graphs to include in your fabulous documentation.
Now this is the part where things get REAL…
Tip #4 Provide a clear, informational, concise guide to success.
The most important component of process documentation is a clearly, defined outline of the steps it takes to achieve success. This section should be informational, concise and easy to follow. When working on this section, I like to start by setting the stage for the actual business process – readers will be able to better follow your instruction with a real-life example.
Start with numbering each step and write down the WWWWWH (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How) for EACH step.
Keys to Success: Assume your reader has no knowledge of your current system and/or process. Walk through a real-life example and use images to continue with including visuals as described in the third tip.
Tip #5 Provide a resource for readers to get more information.
And finally, it is always a good practice to include a source for more information. Whether it is a link to a webpage, a help video or an email address, let your users know where they can find more information and ask any questions that might arise.
That’s all there is to it! Follow these 5 tips to turn your documentation process from awful to awesome. If you’d like more information on how to better manage your company’s Salesforce, big data or IoT documentation, feel free to reach out to the expert cloud solutions team at Ad Victoriam Solutions.