Documentation Summer School: Creating Great Process Diagrams

By |2019-08-06T11:24:49-07:00August 9th, 2017|
Updated: August 6, 2019
  • Documentation Summer School: Creating Great Process Diagrams

You understand the value of documentation. That’s why you’re reading this. You know that documenting assets and processes is an important step towards building a more efficient, scalable business. But you also know that documentation is like anything else — the better it is, the more useful it is. The good news is that creating excellent documentation is easy. We’ve already discussed writing great process documents. Now we’re going to talk about creating great process diagrams.

There are a lot of reasons why there is value in creating process diagrams. Some processes are just easier to visualize. For some people, a wall of text is impenetrable, but a diagram is crystal clear. Whatever the reason, we know that some things just make more sense when rendered visually.

What you need to know about great process diagrams

  • There are many diagram shapes. Familiarize yourself with them, and use the right one at the right time.
  • Use symbols to denote different types of steps. The ASME symbols, designed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, can be used. Choose whatever symbols work best, but be consistent in which one you use.
  • Determine the scope and objective of the process ahead of time.
  • Brainstorm the different steps ahead of time. A process diagram is not usually something you bang out quickly – it has to be thought through thoroughly.
  • Break each process into steps. Include each step on the diagram. Skipping steps leads to confusion.
  • Show connections, sequences, and decisions.
  • Show the entire process from beginning to the end.
  • Use the right tool for the job. IT Glue is integrated with Lucidchart, and that one is cost-effective. But there’s nothing wrong with Visio, Draw.io, Google Drawing, Gliffy, Highcharts…there are a lot of tools out there that can be used to assist with creating great process diagrams.

A series of logical steps

You can see that even a simple task has a number of different steps. But understanding each step, and ensuring that they are done correctly, in the right sequence, is the key to achieving repeatable high service levels. Your techs can see each step of every process that they follow, and in doing so are better equipped to deliver a high level of performance, every time.

You can even render the steps in an animated GIF to make the process crystal clear.

For more information on embedding diagrams and charts into IT Glue, check out our handy Knowledge Base, including our article on working with images in SOPs and our Lucidchart-specific article. 

 


IT Glue is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that tackles one of the most pressing issues for IT service providers: team efficiency. Our documentation platform helps companies to document their business assets and processes, allowing for consistent process improvements, dramatic waste reduction, and improvement of their bottom lines. Once stored in IT Glue, they become a company asset, rather than a department or individual one, and staff can self-serve. This creates an organization poised for growth, and free of the risks/costs associated with missing information. 

 

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