What is the eDocumentation Process™?
The eDocumentation™ Process is a structured and comprehensive guideline for developing and maintaining Policies, Processes, and Procedures.The eDocumentation Methodology is designed to solve issues that arise during a Documentation project by breaking down the effort into a series of manageable tasks and steps. The approach emphasizes tasks that can be defined, analyzed, evaluated, and measured. It produces predefined end products that measure progress and quality. It is a guideline, not a rigid set of instructions. The eDocumentation™ Process addresses the specific needs of Policies, Processes, and Procedures projects and the Documentation developers.
What is the objective of eDocumentation Process?
Developing and maintaining Policies, Processes, and Procedures that are clear, concise, complete and correct™ for the proper users is the simple objective of the eDocumentation Process. This has always been the objective for all Policies, Processes, and Procedures developed by Knowledge Process. The skills and disciplines essential, when developing Policies, Processes, and Procedures, require that those skills and disciplines be specialized and tailored. Furthermore, change is clearly a major factor for the Policies, Processes, and Procedures user and developer and must be an integral part of the eDocumentation Process.
There is no doubt that technology has greatly assisted in creating Policies, Processes, and Procedures. However, technology is only part of the process. Although there are many tools available to assist with the process, the fact remains that a person must perform the research, development, and verification of the Policies, Processes, and Procedures. The content acquired must then be transformed into applied knowledge for user training and reference. It is then published, so that the diverse audiences can access it and use it. The issues facing the documentation developer is combining the technology and processes related to the Policy, Process, or Procedure. It can be an overwhelming task, if all tasks are not addressed.
The importance of training and implementation support cannot be overstated. The end users must understand all aspects of the Policies, Processes, and Procedures; it is not enough to simply review or figure them out. The users, who are responsible and accountable for the application of the Policies, Processes, and Procedures, must have a complete understanding of them.
Policy, Process, and Procedure Development Methods
It is not always known that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to develop documentation. However, many often realize there is a problem when their current Policies, Processes, and Procedures are not easy to use, difficult to update, or are incorrect. We provide the tools and training company-wide so the development is usable and maintainable.
We provide solutions to some of the most common problems during documentation development. We develop a unique solution for your unique project and requirements. Some of the methods that can be utilized to develop and maintain Policies, Processes, and Procedures are are the following:
- Accurately identify the audience using the documents. Different audiences have different requirements and needs.
- Accurately identify the purpose of the content types. We provide Templates and Worksheets that identify the criteria for each content type.
- Use the proper software for the content type, so they can be effectively developed and maintained. This includes the editor, graphics capture, and flow tools.
- Use modular documents to the extent that the software allows. Modular content allows for robust documents.
- Use the proper templates with consistent standards. Utilize ‘skeletons’ for a fill-in-the-blanks approach, allowing users to easily provide content.
- Write the documents using a common writing style and format. Users should not have to fight the formatting and writing style in order to understand the content.
- Provide Table of Contents and Indexes for document sets.
- Provide categories and keywords by subject matter and function, so they can be accessed using ECM. Categorize documents immediately. Complete the information and store in document properties, so they can be updated and are attached to the document.
- Provide authors checklists, templates, and other development tools. Don’t make them start from scratch each time.
- If authors are SMEs, provide support. As time is short and responsibilities many, they need support.
- Provide checklists to authors that provide development and maintenance guidelines.
- Provide effective version controls and check-in / check-out capabilities.
What subjects does the eDocumentation Process address?
When developing Policies, Processes, and Procedures there are tasks and methods that must be considered. Some topics addressed by the eDocumentation Process are:
- Audience evaluations
- Template design and maintenance
- Usability qualities
- Vocabulary development
- Modular writing
- Review teams
- Verification and testing
- Writing style and standards