Identify the process in need of documentation

Start by identifying the areas where employees or users might face difficulties, confusion, or inefficiencies. In most cases, it will be determined and communicated by the Organizational Designer, who may also invite you to a workshop.

There are multiple types of processes that can be documented, which require slightly different interview approaches:

  • Internal process

  • Project

  • Function

Gather feedback from stakeholders, various team members, departments, or user groups to understand their experiences and challenges. This will help you pinpoint the most pressing problems that need to be addressed in your documentation.

Research existing information

  1. Review the existing documentation regarding the issue and goal (GitBook, Notion, etc.)

  2. Get a sense of general familiarization with their ecosystem, products and mission through Google, website, blog, etc

  3. Collect all information into a Notion page for the project. This will make it easier to share and double-check internally.

Conduct interviews to gather insights

Interviews with domain experts or the Organizational Designer will help you get a clearer sense of the problems. You can also create a user journey in a collaborative workshop facilitated by the Organizational Designer, together with the experts.

Notate, Transcribe and summarise

Take notes in Miro during the interview(s). Capture as many key points as possible. Additionally, record and transcribe interviews (e.g. with Google Meet) and use GPT to summarise and highlight the most relevant friction points. This will speed up the process of gathering insights. Review your notes from Miro to ensure GPT has captured all relevant insights and add any points that are missing.

Place your notes along the stakeholder journey

The Organizational Designerwill create a stakeholder user journey. Once the user journey is ready, they will provide it to you. Place your notes and insights from the interview(s) along the stakeholder journey and discuss potential information-structuring with the Organizational Designer.

Revisit the existing documentation

Analyze the current documentation to identify the most logical and relevant location for the new workflow, addition or alteration. Make sure it matches and complements the existing stakeholder journeys.

Consider how it relates to existing content and how users might access or reference it during their journey.

Integrate the new process into the documentation

Translate your notes into a concise, easy-to-follow guide. This guide should provide clear instructions and explanations for each step, ensuring that users can easily navigate the process and achieve their goals. Make sure to include existing references from the previous step.

Workflow breakdown

Workflows can be broken down into granular, delegatable tasks. Under the role’s workflow, break down each separate task discussed in the interview.

Optimize description for:

  • Learning - If the team needs new contributors to learn a lot, the breakdown might require higher granularity.

  • Individual progressions - If there are many functions in the organization, it’s important to see the workflow in context to the others to help an individual understand how they up-skill and progress.

  • Hiring - If the organization needs to hire more workers, focus on information that will help them screen the candidates.

  • Scope definition - To communicate internally how deep/complex a workflow is.

  • Task split - The individual tasks should make it easy to split the work between two individuals. One of them will be the leader, the other one a student.

Use GPT to format your transcript faster. A few helpful prompts can be:

  • Re-write and translate this into a step-by-step workflow guide.

  • Re-write and translate this into an English step-by-step workflow guide:

  • Elaborate on each of the X steps of the workflow:

Identify opportunities for cross-linking

Look for areas of the documentation where there may be existing documentation for specific processes (eg. best practices, meetings), relevant parties (eg.Organizational Designer), or documents (eg. knowledge bases, templates, etc.). When you identify something you would like to have a link to, place a comment on the relevant sentence or paragraph asking the person who reviews the documentation to provide the link.

Identify opportunities for further granularity

Look for areas of the documentation that may not be clear enough for someone to jump in and start working. For example, if the workflow says "ensure the product goes through quality control" the person reading the documentation will need to know who is responsible for quality control and how to reach them. When you identify something that needs such clarification, place a comment on the relevant sentence or paragraph asking the person who reviews the documentation to provide clarification. Be specific about what you are looking for (eg. "who is responsible and how can they be contacted).

Integrate the new process into the documentation

Ensure the workflow fits within the context of other stakeholder journeys (eg. includes the same type of information and is formatted similarly). Add your new workflow to the documentation, making sure is cross-linked with other existing user journeys. Ensure that it doesn't conflict with or disrupt any other processes or information that users might need.

Review and update the documentation as needed

Ask one or ideally multiple individuals affected by the new workflow or process (eg. those delegating the process and those who will be using it) to review the documentation, provide feedback, and ask questions. This will ensure consistency and can highlight details you could have skipped. Depending on the complexity of the process update, a quick chat with the Organizational Designermight be sufficient.

For a more elaborate review, you can conduct follow-up interviews:

Review interview

If you are looking for more targeted feedback, you can conduct a second interview with someone who is new to the organization or project, the expert(s) who provided the workflow or process, or a different expert who is also familiar with the workflow or process.

The second interview should be helpful to review your work and get an external opinion.

  1. Have them share their screen so you can see where they are looking

  2. Have the expert walk through the GitBook as if they were a new hire and provide commentary on what they notice.

  3. Ask questions throughout about whether anything is missing and if everything included seems helpful.

  4. Afterward, ask for honest feedback and any areas of improvement

  5. Take notes in Miro, which can then be integrated into the second iteration.

Take notes in the existing Miro document. This will allow for easy iteration of the documentation.

Make sure to send them the documentation ahead of time so that they can review it on their own prior to the call where it will be discussed.

Refine the GitBook

  1. Move notes from Miro into GitBook

  2. Integrate any new feedback

  3. Create the final version with any finishing touches

  4. Double-check all links

Update your own workflow

Regularly review and update the Documentation Writer workflow to keep it current, accurate, and user-friendly. Solicit feedback from users and team members to identify areas for improvement or clarification. Continuously refine your documentation to better serve the needs of your organization and its users.

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