Meta-knowledge is the most important knowledge. Know thyself! This webinar on documenting your documentation should help you create a consistent structure and standard so that every team member knows where to store- and how to find- the documentation they are looking for. We will cover the silly-named ‘Process Process’, as well as Password & Naming standards.
Allen Edwards 00:06
Welcome to the it documentation and user groups, one fleet webinar. This presentation is about documenting your documentation. And we’re going to cover such silly things as the process process, which is far better than it used to be when it was the procedure procedure back and I first did it in 2005 or so. Yes, that’s a real story. All right. So just a little bit about it, Doug. It’s an acronym. We’re on Facebook. And you can look at some of our past webinars at our website, Eureka process that comm slash it, Doug. I don’t always get a chance to have Tracy back in the same room for webinar. But she’s here with us today, our founder, and I would love to let her introduce herself and how she founded the group. Tracy, welcome back.
Tracy Hardin 01:00
Oh, great. Thanks, Allen. Hi, everyone. Um, yes, I started a Facebook page called it glue users group, posh. It’s been two and a half years ago, I’m trying to remember two years ago, and I started it because I didn’t know what I was doing with documentation. I couldn’t find any resources. I couldn’t find anybody to really ask how to document stuff. So I started the users group and Facebook for it glue. But I quickly realized that documentation is the same no matter what platform you’re using. And it’s the same challenge. And it really doesn’t matter what your tool is, we’ve got the same challenges as it people, whether we’re owning our own companies are working for corporations. So the group grew, and I needed more expertise. And I asked Alan to join. And during that time, we changed the name to it documentation users group so that everybody would feel welcome in the group. And it really didn’t matter which platform you’re using. So basically, I started the group because I didn’t know what I was doing. And so I can learn more. I own an ISP, an MSP, I’m sorry, in Lexington, Kentucky, we focus on compliance. And I’ve been Gosh, and doing this for 20 years now just hit my 20 year anniversary last month. Congrats been doing MSP since I converted my company back in 2012, I sent out my first MSP clients. So that’s what I do. And I am pushed leading them documentation. Now I need to get all out of my brain into glue, so that when I face some health challenges last year, my company ran really without my having to be so involved. So that was my goal with glue all along was to get everything out of my brain, share it with my staff, get everybody on board, and hopefully retire early.
Allen Edwards 02:58
That is the plan. You get to test your documentation system pretty heavily last year.
Tracy Hardin 03:03
I did because I missed a lot of time because of my health issues. And you know, and work from home test you too. Good lord. You know, my my staff is scattered in different households. Now we’re half in half out of the office, half the team comes in one week, the other half the next week. So if we do have the virus, somebody does have it. We’re not infecting the whole team. But we’re not all down at the same time. That’s the goal. So so far, so good. Nobody in my team has had it. So very good. And everything turned out pretty good in 2020, despite all the challenges. So happy to be here. Yes.
Allen Edwards 03:38
Glad to have you in here again. It’s been it’s been a few meetings. Yeah. Well, the group has continued to grow. Thanks to our members helping other members. In 2019. We hit 1000. Last year, we hit 2000 and Kirby early in the year already at 3000 members and it continues to climb. Feel free to invite especially like minded folks so we can get more help more questions more answers to help each other grow. I’ll be giving our presentation today based on some some documents we’ve developed for other IT services firms. It’s why I agreed to co admin with with Tracy because you know we love documentation. And while we consult on processes in general, it’s it’s all about documentation. So just a little bit about me, I’ve been doing this for a very long time I’ve owned an MSP. I’ve sold an MSP and I’ve led others with some great success and found that this company where we literally work with clients day in and day out inside of business in almost every area imaginable. So we’ve had a chance to test a lot of these processes and adapt and see how they change. So we’re gonna dive in. do feel free to ask questions. During the presentation, Veronica or Tracy or broker, Adam will interrupt if they need to, to get my attention or we can cover that at the end. I do have a broken Slide coming up. So I’ll probably will take 30 seconds to fix that. Just so you know, I know it’s going to happen. But we’ll get started. And you’ll see me fumble with that one slide coming up. So first of all, I think there are four types of documentation, just to give us a lay of the land, we have the documentation of our internal processes, whether they’re for your team, or client facing. This would be such things as how do you open the office or close the office? How do you submit timesheets and time entries. And it’s this type of stuff that we’ll probably talk the most about today, because we’re talking about how you document your documentation. So that tends to be a type of internal process. But there are other processes, other documentation types, there’s your technical processes, how to solve technical issues, knowledge bases, wikis, etc. There’s also your time entries. That’s a type of documentation. It’s your audit log of what you actually did. And of course, client och, client asset documentation, which is what already exists, including passwords. We’ll touch a little bit on this today. But if you’re interested in client asset documentation, our YouTube channel a Eureka process, has last month’s it dog presentation where we covered client asset documentation in great detail. So this is all about Know thyself, and where the next slide is the broken slide and you’re gonna watch me fix it. We’re gonna do a quick poll about what is Know thyself. And if you know yourself, Know thyself is also a form of meta knowledge. It means information about yourself. Uh, what I’m doing right now is I’m getting my username and password plugged in here. Thank goodness for password managers. And let’s see if I can even get the right pole to clump, the first try. Previous poll. We’ve done lots of polls, it died before. And I’m gonna keep going till we get to our current poll. I had no idea we had this many polls. All right, I’m going the wrong direction. If you guys are recording and you want to playback, you can always see all of these wonderful results. Ah, here we go. Quite a simple question. Do you document your documentation if you’d like to place a vote so we can all kind of see how our audience is polling, go to swift polling, calm, enter the code 14795. Or you can text your vote 22058838760. And this will all show up live here in just a moment. So I’m going to change this to results. Let’s look at as a pie chart. So a majority say yes, at 75%. I assume that’s like three out of four people were early on, we can always come back to this chart later. But most of you are document your documentation, which is great. So for those you might get some new ideas. And here are some ideas of things to add. And for those of you not documenting documentation, here’s some great places to start. Alright, so let’s do the documentation. What is it we have to write down? So here are first of all of the four key documents that we use the process process, as I mentioned, we’re going to review naming standards today, it’s important to know how to record and find the information that you’re documenting. So we have to put that in writing. Very similar to that we have the password naming standards. And of course, the document that we reviewed in great detail last month, which was asset documentation. So we’re going to cover some of these one piece of repeat from the last presentation, though, because this is so key. are the terms necessary and sufficient? These are two questions or two words, you should test all of your decision making by Is it necessary? And is this sufficient? Do I absolutely have to have this and do I have everything I need? Basically, we’re looking for the minimum viable product. And while you might not be a fan of minimums, if it’s too much, it’s not going to get done. So we want to lower the burden as much as possible for recording this data. So we’re looking for what is the minimum information necessary yet enough information to be sufficient to answer any questions that we have because if it’s too little, it’s not going to be useful. So it’s just a reminder, some quick things to test necessary and sufficient. Okay, will I ever use this again? If not, please don’t bother writing it down. When Will someone referenced this? The reason I asked that isn’t really a yes, no, it’s okay. If they’re working on a particular thing when they’re accessing it, is there other information around them at the time that might help inform them? Is this data already available somewhere else? And if so, can we just link to it to make it easier? How much stuff should your person already know? And we’re actually going to have a couple of examples in here where we’re going to write to a level based on that person’s knowledge. Is this easier to find somewhere else? Every now and then I found the tech article that’s honestly just easier to Google than it is to record your own answer. Alright, so when they come to the screen, what are they likely? What questions are they likely asking at this time before you write it down? And then is it always so be wary of how you document exceptions don’t create giant masses of rules to handle occasional exceptions. You always want to write process to the rule, to free up your people to handle exceptions with the incredible intelligence you’ve hired them for. So let’s dive into the first one. The I saw some smirks on faces when I said the word procedure procedures became process essentially just covers where to store your documentation, where to store your processes. What are you storing in there? And how do you write it. So let’s cover the various types of processes we want to do. So there’s internal technical processes. These are step by step instructions that a technician should be able to follow. Therefore, be aware of click by click instructions, and screenshots. Your technicians should have a certain level of understanding on how things work. And we don’t want to explain this as VR. So a client’s the wrong audience. So here’s an example, we want to explain to our internal process of how to reset a password in Active Directory. Well, don’t go you know, click here, click there, click here, click there. Because our text should know how to reset a password. However, we do need to document our way of doing because there are a lot of ways to reset a password. So perhaps your method I gave one example here, that I hope I was hoping that everybody thought of, Oh, we get to connect wise automate or your RMM. deploy a script from a certain folder, and then document your notes. So you know, that would tell somebody who is a technician how to operate it without telling them exactly what screens to go to, or to log into a server and click here, click on this another way. Further, I had a small naming process to this, I just put the word si p dash in front of it, it might seem a little silly. But to me, the beautiful part of putting that SRP dash in front of it is, since most of us are probably already have some documentation. You can see what’s been done the right way, or the new way, versus what’s the old way that helps you sort them into categories. And we have a couple other categories you might see later as well. And of course, store those in your client organization or customer folder. And I have listed a folder name, your folder names can certainly be different, but document what those are. So everybody knows exactly what folder to put there. Let’s call this piece of bonus content. We’ve had some past it dog presentations on this before. But a for technical processes inside facing. I know in Connect wise you have type subtype and item and autotask, you have issue and sub issue and you have similar concepts and other PSS, I will frequently map our internal technical processes to match a folder structure that matches type and subtype or issue and sub issues. So consider that as well, to help you sort what’s typically volumous for us it providers, which are technical processes, client facing instructions. these are these are different for two reasons, different audience and different security because this might be available to the public. So these instructions are for clients to actually read themselves. So the difference is here we have because of the different audience, we do want screenshots and click by click instructions. Because we were teaching a client who might not be technical, how to do these things, keep the same naming convention. And the biggest difference, as I mentioned is security. So you do have to ask a couple of questions and decisions. You can answer these however you see fit or however your documentation system platform supports a but for example if let’s say As you follow the same process the client follows, you might leave them in the same folder as the previous slide, but perhaps have to give security permissions so that the public can see that or teach your technicians how to share that link or the content of that link. Of course, if it’s only for the clients to follow, you might actually store it and some sort of external folder that has permissions for the public to see. Or if it’s for one client stored in their folder, only give them access to it. So think through it necessary and sufficient, what are the what is the minimum set of instructions you can give. So that 80% of everything you’re going to write about your client facing instructions will fit. But do keep in mind you have to determine you know, is this for internal use as well. Generally, your clients use or a specific clients, three important things that I do feel are necessary and sufficient to help you document your client facing instructions. Another piece of processes that we have to learn how to process our technical best practices. I’m not a big fan of these, but some people are so wanting to include it. This is not a step by step guide. This is not an if this, then do this or a step one, step two, step three. This is simply Hey, when you’re configuring this type of thing, these results should incur maybe it was a setting up exchange best practices, you know, turning off open relays, setting a maximum file size, or maximum message size, those types of things would be best practices that might not be in a step by step guide. So to separate those two SNPs, I just put a BP in front of it. Or maybe in a folder called best practices, depending on how you want to sort this but make the decision. My favorite part is internal processes. It’s in our name Eureka process. That’s why it’s written three plus times in this slide. internal processes are not for the technical resolution. So all the stuff above does not apply here. Some examples are what are the types of things that would be an internal process. The process process is an internal process. Some other examples would be, we have some documents called ways to succeed, which is, Hey, I know we have a lot of documentation and rules. So we create one document that’s here’s the top 10 general things to keep in mind when working for us didn’t include things like it’s not in your PSA, it didn’t happen. It’s not in your documentation system, it doesn’t exist, always admit mistakes, you know, can’t close a ticket without calling the client, the general rules like that we’ll put there. And so that’s an internal process, not a technical process of any kind. And you could argue with the client onboarding process, though, I believe it’s an internal process, some people would just make it a project template, and that’s fine. But those are some examples of internal processes, and how to put them in a folder. Or however your documentation system supports, called internal processes stored under your company name. One more special piece of documentation is pictures. As Tracy mentioned, we started out it glue heavy, and we do have a lot of clients using it glue. They’re kind of the elephant in the room. And there’s probably lots of other documentation systems that handle this better. But some of these things are developed because of the limitations in there. So here’s what I have done to help give some structure. And again, your structure can be yours, but think it through and figure out what is necessary and how much is sufficient to get it done. So what we did is for each client, we created a folder, and the folder had the location name. Now if they only had one location, some clients have chosen to still create a location folder called main or only, or headquarters, slash pictures because their folders also store internal processes and technical processes. So that’s why we have the name pictures. And then for every type or set of pictures, they wanted to group together, they put it in there. So in this case, they had server room IDF, MDF, and other types of internal locations as they saw fit. As with everything I do, we have a naming standard attached to it. I recommend putting in a date code a month code because a lot of people want to see what is the current state ever room. And after you document for example, a server room The first time you might go back a year later and and sort some things replace some equipment. And you want to see what the current status so that’s why I put the date in there. And we’re actually going to talk about the details of the st zero for naming centers but this is how you name equipment. So this is going to be date and equipment name. And when you’re clear on that it’s going to be very easy to find things. Some other little Things that I’ve seen a do’s and don’ts that have helped people using this process. I try not to put multiple devices in one photo, I know it can’t be helped and dense server racks. But I might still take an individual picture of each section with other stuff there. But let’s say you do have one photo, and it has all five devices you want in it, I recommend just copying the photo five times and naming it per device, you can quickly find it in your searches. Or maybe you add the device to the title. So you can again, it’s all about searching and finding or add text, add text still in that same document somewhere to go with the picture to supplement the title for searching. Because it’s all about what can you find later. Remember all the pain of naming and labeling it happens once finding it happens over and over again. So you want to put in the effort now for the future benefit later. And just because I happen to have this list here is I will not read this with you. But here is a list of photos that is especially used during an onboarding project that says hey, these are the photos that we want to document as an example. While you’re reading that, again, feel free to submit questions via the Facebook Live message or in the zoom chat if you’re here with us live. And we will answer those as appropriate. Now for some fun,
Tracy Hardin 21:30
just to interrupt a second, Alan, you have those lists of separate documents. In glue, I put it all into one documents called photos. And then we’re blue let you just kind of Insert Stuff real easy. I actually have a template under my company. And what my staff does, when they go to a client and collect pictures, they grabbed the template and copy it to that company that they’re taking pictures of. And then they drop their pictures into it. And the template tells you this is the firewall. This is the ISO you know, the demark point for phone lines. This is the phone system, they actually plug it in, but I have it all in one document. And I’ll do the serial number visible because I almost never can see the serial number. That’s just in like you said, If I get multiple devices in one picture, I will duplicate that picture even in that document. So you can just jump right to the section. But I do it all in one document.
Allen Edwards 22:27
And that’s perfectly fine. I mean, if looking at it as a you know, I don’t know the details of that. Maybe it’s harder to quickly search for a specific photo. But maybe in your workflow cases, people are generally looking at the whole client at once anyways. So yeah,
Tracy Hardin 22:44
it’s in the title photos is in the title, the client, finding photos in the title and they can search and they’ll seem all we can just scroll up and down.
Allen Edwards 22:52
Excellent. I think the moral of the story here is document your documentation, right? Because you have that written in writing and your whole team is aware of how this works. It works well.
Tracy Hardin 23:04
Yeah. Well, most of the time. Everybody follows it, because sometimes they have to go, No, he didn’t follow, they just drop them in there. Absolutely no, this is the template and how to put them in. But
Allen Edwards 23:17
most of the time. And typically the way I get people to follow it is certainly harder in the early days, is when they start having to reference them, they find out how easy it is when it’s in a set place every time. Alright, so typically, I get my most arguments under our naming standards. Everybody who’s seen this or worked through it with me loves the idea. For some reason, every single one of them wants to change what we’ve done. I don’t get it, it’s fine to do so. But why spend brainpower working on something that’s been developed for you. So naming standards, we are going to the next couple of slides, we’re going to build a name using a series of abbreviations to get us on the same page. I’m going to give you some specific examples. But again, you can change this you can make it your own, just think through it necessary and sufficient what’s the minimum viable product to cover the cases that actually matter to you. So my basic formula is first initial of the first name, plus the next three of the second name. However, sometimes you have a company with one name, I hate to include inks and LLCs. So this use all four to have a four digit code. What I have found, though, is that even if you started your business from the get go with this is there are certain types of businesses. They’re just known by a different name. I can’t help it. When I give an example because there are public companies Chatham Area Transit, it’s the bus company from my hometown. Everybody knows them as cat they’re advertised as cat and you know, otherwise it would be care. See ar e, which isn’t bad, but it was hard to get people to change says that I tell you what, here is our rule. But whenever we make an exception, just write it down in this chart. So the chart just became our list of bonafide, these are the initials we’re going to use for this customer. So here are some random examples I threw up there and how it could either follow our formula or be an exception. But again, document your documentation, write it down, you only have to make this decision once per onboarding. And you want to get everybody on the same page that so that we’re clear moving forward. And the client naming can apply to many other places. But when it comes to how we’re going to name these devices for how we store things, that’s going to be the first part of the name and you’ll see how this gets built. Okay, then comes the even more controversial device naming. Essentially, we are just going to and I do have an error in my slides here. We’re just going to create a device abbreviation, I’m going to show you the list at the end of the device abbreviations that goes after the client name. And we’re going to add a three digit device number, because I have great hopes that most of you guys are going to be approaching 100 devices of, let’s say, workstations, at some point in their clients lifecycle, even if they’re only 50, computers large by the time they refresh those once more. You’re at number 100. So go ahead and start with three digits. So here’s how the whole thing gets built. Client abbreviation, dash device abbreviation, and you have some examples here of the whole thing built out. And then the number, so just go sequential, you know, 001002, if you’re using a, an RMM tool, just go look at what’s already out there. And then add to it. And we’re going to talk about a building and location list as well. Everybody has a main location. So typically, I call that the non abbreviation. So you’ll see some without that, so even in our examples here, let’s pretend I have a client of McDonald’s, in where I’m currently living British Columbia, Canada. So first initial, nope, this is one name. So we have four letters of the clients name dash, we’ve decided that firewalls are going to be called Fw and I believe I’ll show you that list next. A 001. It’s our first firewall, we’re documenting. Oh, and they’re not at the main location they are in BC. And again, all we did is write a list of locations and write what the initials are in the shortest possible form. We’ll do one more, there’s that temporary transit Oh, they run the exception list there CIT. We have decided to call desktops dt. It’s the Liverpool we’ve done. So it’s zero 11. It’s the main location, so they don’t need a location identifier. Here we go. One piece that was missing on here, that I would be remiss to say I do treat servers differently. I actually call them all, as you see, in a very top example for Chatham Area Transit here. For servers, I actually put SRV in there before creating a function initial. Those tend to have a special place and it sorts them in a special place. And that’s why I’ve chosen to do that in our standard. I’ll leave this on the screen for a few more minutes or seconds. You can name these, whatever you want. Be aware of duplications, I see a lot of variants in how people handle fending clients or wise or virtual desktops. Alright, Dan’s asking question Walmart. Or maybe he’s giving a reference as well. Walmart Canada site three firewall, one WMC. So he has chosen that his initials for the client are going to be WMC. He puts a site code number after that, and then dash abbreviation for the type of equipment and then the number. So that works great. As long as everybody’s on the same page. We want everybody to always numbering and labeling them the same, so we can find them the same way. That’s a great example. And feel free to reserve more examples as well in the chat. So this is our basic list and you can build this yourself. You can copy and paste hours. Just think through it and be aware of the occasional in device types. Occasionally, I’ve seen things duplicate like, Oh, this means the same thing. Either way, you just have to decide. I’m also a big fan of trying to keep the same number of letters throughout. Like printers wasn’t just P and when I made it p n So there’s two letters. I love symmetry. So if I if we back up from our previous slide, when you’re labeling pictures, for example, we put a date code and the device name. This would be the device name. All right. I’ve only got one more document for you before you launch into QA, several slides, but one document password naming standards. Occasionally, I get a sideways look like it’s a password, how hard can it be. But if you’ve ever tried to find that domain, admin password, and every single client has one, and is it the local admin is the domain admin which domain it’s, it can get complicated. So here’s my thought process on password naming. The whole point is to be able to find things, I like to rely on global search. Using it glue as an example. I believe it’s the letter P sorts of password search, I can type and find it, it’s a lot faster than going to organizations, searching the organization, clicking the organization going to the password section and then looking. So I want to think of this as if I want to look through all the passwords in our entire database at once. That’s the quickest way to find things. Therefore, we have to have a consistent method for labeling so we can always find what we’re looking for. And every password management system does it differently. That’s why they call it PMS. Specifically in the next couple of slides, I am referencing what they call it 90 glue, connect wise manage autotask, which frankly, for the purposes of password storage, uses the same nomenclature, like always managed pass portal, and I’m sure these words and concepts apply to others as well. So let’s let’s just break it down. Some of these are pretty simple. Every one of them has some method of Hey, this passwords for a client. These are the different words that each system calls it. Keep in mind, if the password is truly for your company, put it under your company. And that’s usually not as common a mistake as well, we have access to their stuff to our clients stuff. Don’t put it under your company, but under your clients, organization, client or company. All right. Now, folders are a great concept except for only pass portal, the four that I’ve mentioned actually have a folder construct for passwords. Just know that if you have access to folders, if you’re using some other system that has folders last pass others, the biggest benefit of folders that I have seen is controlling access using as a type of security filter. So definitely use it for that if you have it available. To give one common example, I would be remiss not to comment example in past portal, especially for internal use, as they might have internal use folder passwords that everybody in the technical department can see. And maybe some that only the owners can see like banking information or the finance department. common use I’ve seen for folders and password security. Right usernames, this is pretty darn straightforward. They all call it the same thing. And just put it in there exactly as it should appear. So you can copy and paste in if there are multiple ways to login, always get the longest, most precise form of that. As in logging into a local machine, you could log in as admin, but it’s not very clear. So saying localhost slash admin or the actual computer name, slash admin or the domain name slash admin, that is certainly more preferable. Make it easy for yourself. Hey, and here’s one everybody agrees on. Yep, Know thyself. I would have stolen your mini password managers have the option to generate random or complex passwords. I would use it and I would make sure whoever administers your password management system sets up the complexity rules. Typically there’s an option where you can say hey, when I generate a password, you know use three out of four of the complex or four out of four or make it this long this many digits or avoid these characters. You can set that up usually by default. So the passwords that are generated are always meet your requirements. I would definitely use that feature. You should be living in a world where nobody has any password memorized except for the password to their password manager. Another fairly easy one. All of them have. Every PMS I’ve worked with has a URL option is typically an optional field because not all passwords require URL They are called the same in all of those systems. Just make sure if it’s a web based application, you provide the URL so you don’t forget how to login. Sometimes those URLs are not self explanatory. And don’t forget those pieces of hardware such as perhaps VMware that has to be managed via a URL. And yes, one is asking about the recording, there will be a recording coming out to our YouTube channel, and we will post a link to it in the Facebook group, as well as email out a reminder for anybody who registered today. How’s it going? Alright, now we’re getting to the fancier stuff. I’m going to have to kind of show you two things at once for this to make sense. But let’s start with the description field. Past portal, it glue it’s called description, and connect wise manage and auto tasks, we’re talking about the name of the configuration item. This gives you the most flexibility for adding all that other stuff to search based on now and past portal, and it glue, the global search field will search everything but the notes column. And in connectwise, manage autotask, it’s just going to search the name. Now I typically will also search the notes that can be an added benefit for you. So the description is necessary to help you supplement what you’re searching for. Because again, we’re aiming for global search being all you need. But you can make an assumption that the client name is easy to find in global search, as is the password type. And this is that second field we’re going to work with together on the password type. And we’re going to create a table of descriptions that we want to use and what cases on the next couple of slides. And this is our chance, even if it’s off of the documented, documented of the documented path if you want to add something a common mistake to search for. You can also throw that in description. A common when QPR well as a QPR quarterly business review, or is it a QPR? Or is it a technical business review? Or is it a strategic business review? Or is it a net admin review, or at least I’ve added before just at the end of the scription, those search terms so that people can find it faster. So let’s look at this password type real quick to put the whole piece together. It’s called several things and various PMS is credential type is what it’s called. And past portal password categories, what it’s called it glue. And the configuration type is what it’s called and connect wise, manage, and autotask. So when we’re thinking of this, again, don’t forget all of the other search fields. And keep your eye see this, US technical people, we love to make things complex. Keep this as simple as possible. And you don’t need that many password types. You should be hopefully well under 20. But I’ve seen as many as 20. I still felt okay, but I’ve come into places that had 50 or 60. It’s like, Is it really matter if this is an HTTPS site versus an HTTP site for the purposes of storing the password? Heck, what’s the difference in a firewall and a router? As far as storing the password ghosts? Maybe even the same for the switch? Maybe network devices is a sufficient enough type to give you the search that you need. All right, let’s get into some examples, which I hope I have here. Yep, good, good. So I’m going to give you a table the next slide. And we’re going to go through a couple of examples. And we’re getting pretty close to question and answer time. So please keep them coming in if you have any. Or if you just want to share or Hey, guys, I did this cool thing. We’d love to hear other examples. As Tracy has already shown us, there are more ways to do this. The important thing is to document what you’re doing. So the whole team is on the same page. So on this table coming up, just know that I don’t have the client username and password fields on here. That’s pretty straightforward. I don’t have to explain those any further. So we’re going to show how description and credential type can work together to help you search and easily find and store passwords. So here’s the whole table. I gave an example of domain admin before for the Active Directory user was like, well, heck, I’m looking for domain admin. Everybody has one. So did they call it domain admin did they call it just the admin account or administrator account? It’s a lot of variables that are very common for us. And if we were browsing we could probably find we’re looking for for the domain admin. But I want to make it lightning quick through global search. So we already know the company name is stored in there. So just search company name and the exact Words, domain admin, and you find it every time if you agree to the standard. Again, you can change the standard. But everybody has to be on the same page and then retrieving and storing are that much faster, that much easier. Again, I encourage you to adopt your own policies. But as you see an Active Directory, I have a concept of what is the service name with the words service account. So if I’m not quite sure, I can always search the word service account, see what those are. And of course, for handling individual users, we say first name, last name. Notice, we don’t just put the username there, because we already have that in the username field. I’ll abbreviate some more here. But you see how local users on websites a little tricky? How do you label function names? So I tried to give some explicit example in the notes. The way I build my notes field is obviously if I, if I want to give examples, I do that now. But let’s say I’m using this policy now for six months, a new guy comes in, he says, Hey, hey, Alan, I’m, I’m trying to create this password. I don’t know what function to call it. We walk through it. But instead of just answering his question, we answer his question. And we go ahead and throw the example, in the notes field. So we keep this updated. Any question you have to answer is obviously not clear documentation. So update the documentation to make it clear in the future. And that’s true for all documentation, not just password naming standards. Notice, for firewall and network devices, I do have those separate with some options, like considering adding a brand name. It’s up to you, but you fall right back into also having to have your equipment naming standard here. So in this case, your firewall has a password. So just call it the firewall name. And that’s already pretty darn unique. Because of the naming standard we did in the previous slides, you see how applications are done. And I gave you some ideas for the how the wireless key is done. But because most businesses don’t have just one Wi Fi anymore, they tend to have internal end guests, or maybe more, I gave guidance there to put in the type that it is for the name. And in the notes, put the SS I’m sorry for the user put the SSID. So we all know where to find and store things. All right, it’s a couple of other things you might want to store as meta knowledge as a document in your documentation, not going to dive into details on it. But wanted to share these as well. We mentioned if you are maintaining type subtype in it and connectwise, manage issue submission, autotask or other types of things like that, that isn’t a definitive list that tends to grow over time. And sometimes you lose old things you don’t use anymore, I recommend splitting that out and putting it in a document somewhere, it’s much easier to teach somebody how to find something when they can see the whole list versus having to drill down one at a time and look around. For both autotask. And connect wise, I’ve actually been known just to have a report spits out all the available options in a tree, send it to an email, a Slack channel, a team’s channel once a month, just to keep that list updated and fresh what’s actually in the system. Likewise, from last month’s webinar, we have the asset documentation that I call it the 05 for those playing along at home, or if you have access to the Eureka community.com. All these links down here at the bottom of the slide take you directly to those SNPs we have pre written there. Alright, q&a is coming up in a minute, one minute. How do I get this stuff started? How do I write my first process process? How do I write my first naming standards, I encourage you to rip off duplicate, copy our stuff, make it your own. As you decide to make it your own. It can be hard to make decisions via committee, even though I might recommend a small committee two or three people to start this. So get them together, make some quick decisions in the picot champions. Okay. We’ve decided on this naming standard for firewalls. Go name a couple of firewalls or a couple of clients where the firewalls and report back What did you find, oh, it didn’t handle this duplication or I couldn’t tell this and then you fix it. After you fix it and tweak your your formula for how you’re going to do your process process etc. Then you basically go from alpha testing to beta testing right? So go to the whole team now get Hey everybody. Can you each document for example, one clients worth of this device or one client ever report back on this standard it works or not? And see how it goes and get their feedback. The beautiful thing besides testing and getting some of the work done is when people feel heard, they feel invested in the process, they’re also more likely to follow the process is also a great form of training and building a culture around process. And then you have to make the ultimate decision, which is do I want to put in a project to fix all these, my general recommendation is no. I don’t like spending time documenting stuff that may or may not be referenced again, because we never know what gets used. So typically, beyond the team test, we’ll get a lot of stuff done. Maybe you have a type of process or to the users have to get done. And you want to make a project for it. So be it. But in general, I do recommend as you go, of course, this was designed a little more asset documentation in mind. So when it comes to internal processes, you really should just get your, your process process done your naming standard, and your password naming standard, done and out of the way, at least to test it. So you can keep it going with the rest of your processes from that as you go. All right, your turn. What do you document? How do you do it differently? What questions do you have? I know Tracy had one interesting way that she stores documents that I’d love to hear from her on. And a little bit to the rest of you feel free to use your microphone, your camera chat or the Facebook comments feature.
Tracy Hardin 46:29
Okay, I mean, I can go first,
Allen Edwards 46:31
Tracy Hardin 46:34
I, I do my documentation and organize it similar to the way a lot of accountants organize their books. So different types of documents actually have a number code with them. And Alan said, I could share my screen I’ll share my it’s easier to see it in the See how I set it up. And I’ll give an example. I’ve got a blue pulled up here. So me
Allen Edwards 47:02
sharing so you can
Tracy Hardin 47:04
Yep, let me pop over. And can you see my screen?
Allen Edwards 47:13
Yes, we can.
Tracy Hardin 47:14
Do you see it glue because it’s not showing me which screen I’m sharing. We do see it glue. Okay, cool. It didn’t highlight my screen like it normally does. So we’ve got master processes, we start with zero. And then we’ve organized them by type of process. And let me just dive into one, Finance and Administration. And again, not everybody in my team has access into these, just the ones that need to know. And you can see, I have the 1000s are dedicated to auto task, I got 36 documents in there. And this is all tied to money related stuff with the cars at the end. And then if I go into auto task, I ordered them by number. And the point of this is, when I make these I put gaps in them. So that all of my contracts like the silver contracts, 1021 1022 will stick together because the numbering scheme holds them together. So the most commonly used ones are going to float to the top pick as I give them lower numbers and the less likely used ones. You can see I’m down to 10 9010 stuff that I don’t use this often will float to the bottom.
Allen Edwards 48:22
This is basic programming where you give it line number 10 in line number 20 in case you got to go back and add line number 15 and 11.
Tracy Hardin 48:29
Well, I’ll tell you, I’ll talk to my bookkeeper. And I’ll say, yeah, just look at article 1004. And that’s all I have to tell her and she will go right to the article. So I like doing it not everything we have is numbered, though, there are certain stuff, we have a our own personal documentation wiki. Let’s see, we have our own knowledge base like 4200, our knowledge base, these aren’t numbered, because this stuff comes and goes so quick. And I’m not interested in order, you definitely want to do searching on keywords here. And I load up lots of keywords and titles. When I do this and glue. Even I just find it better to put too many words in the title than anywhere else in the document. It seems glue finds it faster. So I have exceptions to it. And I don’t have my clients number like this. This is only for our internal stuff that I have numbered. Okay. And like I said, it’s just easier, especially human resources will say Oh, reference the handbook or reference this reference that will definitely use these numbers and meetings and stuff. Or we use teams a lot. So I’ll drop just the number of teams and say hey, look at articles such and such. I mean,
Allen Edwards 49:43
and even though I didn’t teach I don’t know if you notice but our documentation is only linked to the wiki community say things like you know, d 04, St. 01, which are category name, initials and numbers to help the same reasons to keep them organized sorted. Easy to reference. Our own team, we just say these are for our books favorite is I think hr 06. Yeah, very good. Do we have any other comments from anywhere else? I can now see the video Veronica, so you can like nod or shake your head. Okay,
Adam Edwards 50:22
I’ve got a couple points. When we were talking about types of type item and issue sub issue for autotask. We usually like to include like, the request new type, or subtype or something like that, that should kick off some process that you have a template to on how to write a new SFP. And for that specific thing, so if you create a new types of type an item or issue sub issue, then there should be some SRP written for that as well. And then the probably the last part of that it should be updating that tree that Alan was talking about, like documenting that so other people know that there’s a new one there. And then I’ll have to find out by clicking through everything else, because usually they’re dependent and so you have to select the type that the subtype, and then the item, and it’ll show you the new one. On the other point was something that I’ve been guilty of in the past is being too thorough, and my documentation in terms of every single step getting documented, like click here, and this is what the save icon looks like. Here’s a screenshot. So I’ve definitely pare that down a lot. So I’ll just be like, click on this and give this specific name. It’s on the top navigation bar and just assume some basic knowledge there and move on to like Alan was saying, pay attention to who your audience is, when you’re writing documentation, who will be doing these steps. And that’ll help out a lot.
Allen Edwards 51:45
Thanks, Adam. What other point, specifically to it glue, and I’m sure it’s others it glue and one drive, the ability to see who changed what last is pretty strong and fast. I let my whole team edit slps. And I encourage them to so if I want to get through five quick points that I want this SAP to have, I’m going to write five quick points. And the next person who follows it, if they have questions, I’m going to ask them to help fill in the blanks. I mean, if there was something that wasn’t clear at it, fix it. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. I know I stole that from somebody famous. Alright, I’ll do the wrap up. If there’s no more questions, feel free to keep the conversation going on our Facebook group. It sounds really good today. Our next webinar is scheduled for March 31. At 2pm look for the event. In the IT group. It’s kind of late list because we roughly have been aiming for the last Wednesday of the month, and it happens to be five in March. So the Registration is open. We’re going to ask the group some more. We know we had one poll out there about what to talk about. I had this crazy idea perhaps to even have a open discussion. Just Hey, come hang out. Let’s see what happens. Ooh, right has a good quick question in here. I would love to address. Roy says revision control not mentioned, Hey, you know what, what’s the revision number, etc. and date. I should add that to our documentation. It’s funny because we actually do that religiously, internally on our documents, and I’ve seen a couple of other suggestions too. For us, we put our initials, and a date code and a dash. And very few words about what we changed or why we changed it. And we even have our process process says you center it, you put it in a telex and you put it at eight font size, the very bottom of an SRP. I’ve seen other pundants out there put a table at the bottom of documents that has similar information who changed what date and roughly what was changed. So that is a great idea. Dan asked a quick question. I would love to try to get to freeform content or do you prefer step by step format for glue and do we Word documents or not? I prefer more freeform. Step by step is great. But we don’t want click by click because screens change and we hire technicians if it’s client facing we want more of that. So sure bullet points are great. I might be answering your own bullet points are great. We wanted as easy and quick to read as possible. But just to the level of detail for our audience. And as far as Word docs in it glue, I hate Redux and it glue they now have with their enterprise feature where you can edit the Word docs live, but you have to have an office 365 license on your own. It gets complex, it’s an extra click, and it’s not quite as good. I just like to use the native editor. Even internally, I’m using OneDrive and office 365. And we are using Word docs there, but we get to open it directly, and we just added it live there. We don’t put a whole lot of effort into formatting because it’s not as valuable to format for internal facing documents for the time required, and it makes it more complex. Ooh, Norbert, I don’t have an answer for how to backup your documentation system. And we’re short on time. I would love it. If you asked that question it, Doug. It hasn’t been asked enough. In my case, I’m not doing it. Shame on me. And I’m in OneDrive. So I feel it’s at least protected from local disaster. But But yes, if the cloud wouldn’t mess up and delete, it would delete my local copy. And I would be s o L. And that’s not good. We do accidentally have backups because of our community site. For the most important processes, but not our internal stuff. I would love to see that conversation going. Alright, IVR Take care. See you saying goodbye. We’ll wrap up here as well. If you need more resources, here they are. This concludes the meeting. Real quick, Dan says glue gets let you do a manual export right for backups. It’s kind of a data dump hard to import last I checked. But yes, I do think there are options there. I would still love to see a alive backup independent of whoever the vendor is. Alright guys, thank you so much for tuning in. We’d love your feedback in the IT group about what we can talk about next, what we can do better, what we should keep doing, etc. And I’ll see you around