The Process Process

Whether you’re taking your first steps into the journey of process and documentation, or a seasoned veteran evaluating your current practices, this is your chance to learn about our Process Process and the six questions that it is based on. Seasoned industry veteran Allen Edwards, founder of Eureka Process and acclaimed leadership consultant, leads this 30-minute webinar on how to get better at process and documentation simply by having a process for it!


The IT Documentation Users Group (ITDUG) is an online forum for IT professionals involved in systems and application management, process documentation, and compliance. IT Documentation Group strives to support today’s busy IT professional by providing them with a venue for sharing practical and usable information about documentation.

Video Transcript

hey everyone

welcome to our april edition of the it

documentation users group webinar

i am sri the community manager here at

greek process and the it documentation

users group is

one of the two groups that i work very

closely with and i’m very proud of

the it documentation users group

comprises people from all around the

world in different industries and

sectors but um everyone has something to

do with documentation either they

function as purely documentation or it

forms uh a part of their job roles

responsibilities or

they just like documentation um so we’re

all here to learn something new we have

these webinars on the last wednesday um

of every month you can catch it here on

the iet documentation users group we

also uh broadcast it to youtube as well

as one of our social one of our other

social media platforms usually linkedin

but you can always catch it here on

facebook uh the duration of this webinar

is going to be uh 30 minutes so uh we

will wrap up uh by around 2 30 eastern

time it is not hard and fast stop if you

have questions keep them coming we’ll

we’ll hang around to answer them um and

uh to everyone who’s watching um

regardless of the platform you’re on

feel free to ask questions in the

comment box of wherever you’re watching

from and we’ll address them as we go

along or at the end of our presentation

um and without further ado we have with

us today um alan edwards he is the

founder and owner of eureka process uh

seasoned industry veteran


he’s going to tell you about the process

process or

quite simply how to get better at uh

doing processes and documentation simply

by having a process for it so with you


thank you i assume the season joke was a

salt and pepper reference or uh

i’ll i’ll leave it to you it’s it’s

it’s an interpretation

one of the most exciting things about uh

being a part of your process these days

has been the team i get to surround

myself with

uh sri hosting this and taking ownership

of the communities and helping you guys

get value

doing that from pennsylvania while

veronica is in the green room pulling

some strings from i think she’s in rome

right now uh and i’m from the uh west

coast of canada at the moment so we’re

all over the place

so let’s uh let’s dive in

uh i do love questions uh i have a

presentation prepared for for this


i don’t mind stopping in the middle to

answer questions but certainly at the

end we’ll go through any questions we

might have missed or anything i couldn’t

get to in due course i’m glad to answer


all right so first off

i want to define for you what

documentation means to me

documentation is simply

writing down your decisions

i use process and documentation

frequently interchangeably because

a process doesn’t mean a whole lot to me

unless it’s documented

anything that you do

in a similar fashion is a process even

if it’s not in writing so you may hear

me call it documentation sometimes so

document your processes and it is also


so what is the process process

it is meta knowledge of your processed

universe know thyself

now i know the name is silly right the

process process it’s technically

accurate because it is the process about

creating processes but it is far better

than its first iteration the procedure

procedure i first confused spell check

with that moniker in 2005.


it’s part of a method it’s the beginning

part we create the blueprint

for how to build processes just like a

blueprint helps dozens of contractors

build a house the process process lays

out the design for your documentation

allowing dozens of team members to work

together to develop your documentation

and process library that’s why this is

so key

the process process is the six

interrogatives the who what when where

why and how of your process


this framework demonstrates how to write

and where to store all future processes

it also explains how and when to follow

the processes and why it is essential

the process process is a key process and

is the beginning of your journey

just like i have done just now your

process process needs to include your


so in our template which we’ll show you

off and on throughout today’s

presentation small section of why let

your team know the importance of this

document and why we have it created in

fact that’s probably true for all

processes in all documentation include

your why

and i promise you six interrogatives and

one is down the why so on to where

where is a very simple if not always

easy uh task of determine your

documentation platform for the entire


even if it’s as rude as mentoring as a

shared file a shared folder

cloud storage that’s fine or it could be

a documentation platform such as uh

confluence hoodoo itglue and many many

others all of them can be good with

proper planning such as filling out your


process the next one’s who similar

concept it’s simple even if not easy

someone needs to be in charge of your

documentation system

uh and more importantly the documents in

the system doesn’t have to be the same

as the technical expert but they do need

to be the expert on the documents in

those systems because if everyone is

responsible no one is

this isn’t a full-time role the amount

of time required will vary based on your

business’s maturity model and we’ll talk

about uh maturity models in a moment but

somebody needs to be the the ultimate

authority in all things documentation

and maybe it’s only an hour a month uh

but make sure somebody’s responsible

um um i’ll chip in that and i think

these two interrogative specifically

have uh probably encapsulate a lot of

the questions that i’ve seen on the

user’s group over the past few months um

especially the documentation platform

for reasons that almost everyone in the

space knows about uh you know which tool

do you use and why and why not um and

you know you uh

through into the mix um everything

that’s happening in the industry at this

point of time um and also questions

about there was a very specific question

about exactly uh who um so someone had

come on and asked um should i have a

person you know specifically just to do

documentation or you know if it’s a

larger corporate should it should you

just be someone where that’s just one of

their functions and how good are they

going to be at it

right so that was an excellent

distinction i do not believe that

somebody should be responsible for

creating documentation somebody needs to

be responsible for the documentation

platform because there’s

to write good documentation the right

good process i think you need the person

who does the process to write it

uh it would be the documentation’s our

job to make sure it winds up in the same

place it stays up to date it’s following

the style guide uh that’s really what

the czar’s job is not to

sit there and write the process

there is certainly a high enough

maturity model a place where maybe that

begins to make sense but i’d prefer to

hear from the people who do the process

more so than a single person who writes

all of them

uh speaking of yeah

sorry please

uh and i’m looking for a good time i go

to an i.t conference i just you know

name a documentation platform and say

it’s the best thing ever to watch the

fights break out just get there just get

the popcorn out yeah

no you you mentioned the maturity model

so i um i was going to say that’s a good

segue into the when interrogatory

because uh helps you delve a little bit

into that yeah this became uh more the

maturity models became more important

for the win because i actually believe

in two different approaches depending on

your maturity uh so over here on the

right is our names sapling new growth

and old growth for the maturity models

there’s actually a fourth one called

seedling it’s before sapling it’s really

more of a

self-help a sub 1 million dollars

and while the exact delineations don’t

matter if you are trying to place

yourself during this webinar sapling is

about a million in revenue new growth’s

about five old growth’s about 10. those

are somewhat arbitrary

and you always want to look at a step

ahead where you’re headed versus where

you are

when you look at these

but at the

sapling and new golf levels as far as

wind goes i recommend letting everyone

directly create and edit the processes

in your documentation platform and then

reviewing those with your team every

week and i have i have a tip for you

next uh on how to review this with your


at the old growth level as you have a

lot of hands in the pie a lot of people

accessing your documentation platform

that might dictate that your

documentations are suddenly becomes your

change management controller as well

meaning you might have to submit a

change request to that documentations

are and get that approved before they

make edits still because there’s so many

people who could be editing those

uh so i promised you a tip on how to

review those changes

i’ll just jump uh straight to how we do

it uh

on the

tip for when to edit


we just had our process meeting uh this

morning we have a process meeting once a


we use it glue internally and we make

changes it emails a microsoft teams


what document title was uh and who

updated it and when

so once a week we go to that channel i

throw it up on the screen share

and we go change by change hey who

changed this what’s important and

sometimes the answer is simply i was

fixing a typo

or i realized i hadn’t used our naming

standards i fixed that other times it

was a hey this is a massive change it

only affects one person the company

i’d like to review that with you after

this meeting

and i find that even in large teams i

can usually get the whole process in 15

minutes or less

this morning we had a key change to our

process map and we spent five minutes

talking about it but it was important

and now the whole team is aware of our

process changes

in our system and where to find that and

what the impacting change was

most systems have the ability to either

have their own change log or to at least

send notifications where you can build a

pseudo change log via slack teams or

other platforms as well

i i have to say i do find those meetings

very useful um

i mean we are on smaller side of a team


and i’m in marketing so you know some of

the work that we do um on you know the

consulting side uh sometimes slides

right over my head but

i have to see that these meetings when

we sit and discuss you know particular

change gives me much more holistic view

of what’s happening and i imagine that

would be even more the case if it

was like for example in msb where you

have people dealing with different

clients and you’re just having that site

of what’s happening on these different

funds can be incredibly useful

i see uh adam on our team is responding

on linkedin i believe it is

uh and and with this meeting you can

also get called out for not naming

something correctly which is great it’s

pure accountability we have a naming

standard i saw something wasn’t quite to

that standard

and it was a great lesson for everybody

to be reminded what the standard is we

fixed it live no big deal uh and it

became a conversation versus a conflict

which is what i love about being open

and writing down these decisions

all right how to write process


little trickier this is still going to

be vague because we have a lot of the

details in the what because the what

matters you’ll see that on the next

slide but as far as the how we need to

know how to write processes which can

vary based on the documentation platform

you’ve chosen

but you do want a style guide

some of the basic questions like do i

use i versus we

at those

earlier maturity models if you’re using

maybe microsoft word to document things

pick a font be consistent i have a title

at the top

i love putting a date code

at the bottom saying when did this thing

when did this document change last who

changed it in a quick summary of the


but that should be consistent because

the more consistent you are the faster

you can read

the document the faster you can find out

what’s new the faster you can find it

the faster you can write it

i’m going to pull up the template here

as you’d mentioned i think that’s great

useful yeah scroll up one page if you

can uh there we go

there we go so yeah the how

uh i’ll just call it a couple of bullet

points here uh for example when i’m

searching for something in our

documentation platform i don’t want to


connectwisemanage i’m going to type cwm

so we made that a rule that’s what we

always type in and now we’re all on the

same page and how we do it


short-term long form or even with with


uh versus short names we we have an

acronym for every clients we have so

many clients it’s saves us words and

syllables we name them and now when i

search my system i can just type in you

know ep space cwm and i can find eureka

processes connect wise manage password

like that because i follow this standard

uh there’s no harm in being specific

like you said microsoft word picking

your font

you could even create a template for

that because it actually makes it easier

as adam likes to tell me clear is kind

uh or in our case if we’re using it glue

i mean we now use headings in a certain

way a large heading means something a

medium heading means a certain thing and

we use the text field appropriately we

don’t leave that for interpretation

especially as we scale and grow

all right now for the stuff that you

guys probably really want to talk about

which is the what uh i know our our crew

our crew likes uh details


i mean what’s documentation without



i like the high level stuff

on your screen are the five types of

documentation that i recommend

i’ll give a brief description of each



and what’s in the template so internal

processes these are like company

policies how do you submit time off what

are your core values

uh client on uh sorry employee

onboarding team member onboarding uh

might be an internal process

uh keep in mind these are

non-technical uh and inside the what you

should have where do you store it how do

you name it i even give some examples

and hours so be clear

internal technical processes

uh i get this in a lot in our industry

of course there’s a whole another segway

we could do about organizing your

technical processes in their own folders

however the technical processes should

have a folder

whatever system type you use a folder or

tag depending on the system

be clear on specifically what it is

how you name it i love putting something

clear in front of it like sop dash

sounds redundant but especially if

you’re not starting from scratch you

have a lot of sops that aren’t labeled

that way this will separate new from old

also if you categorize your tickets your

technical work you can also categorize


under your technical processes

and last important note about internal

technical processes is know your


this is your team of trained

professionals i try to avoid screenshots

and click by click instructions they

should know these things

don’t confuse training them on your

tools on on helping them stay

accountable to processes i try to

separate those as best i can

you can see here there’s a lot of

information in your pictures

pictures are their own category it could

really vary based on your system i know

it was not great at pictures

but we were able to come up with

specific instructions so that we’re all

clear on how to store pictures there for

rit clients

uh your system may vary find out what

the rules are and just be clear on what

you need

i’ve said this in many many other


uh that i don’t even write this in the

process process but you always want to

document as little as necessary don’t

skip the stuff that’s necessary but

don’t over document either so you know

don’t ask for a picture of everything if

you’re never going to use a picture of

everything just the stuff you might

actually need

and then the last two client-facing

instructions and technical best

practices client facing instructions are

a great place to put click by click

because they’re for the clients

sharing information with the outside

world varies dramatically from system to

systems and make sure you understand

your storage needs may change based on

security rights

uh i also don’t find client-facing

instructions used very often in earlier

maturity models that simply comes later

after you’ve really mastered internal

processes internal technical processes

and pictures

and similar for technical best practices

best practices are tough to know when to

apply i use them very sparingly and

usually i save them for later maturity


so just a rough conclusion here

we have a template

uh you’ve seen that on the screen change

any parts you wish but i want you to

note there were actually

very few variables pictures are probably


but there were very few variables on it

if you could assemble your team in a

room and just go through the template

fill in the variables you could have a

working process process you could have

your working blueprint to your entire

documentation platform in only an hour

or two

it’s a small investment in time to have

your team clear on what is required in

writing storing

and referencing processes

what questions do we have from the

audience and while those are coming in

please ask do you want me to talk about

the book siri

yeah um i mean this is a great

opportunity to sort of give a sneak

preview of uh what the book is about

you’ve all been very excited about it


if you scan the qr code on the screen

you can pre-order the book

um alan if you want to tell us a little



uh so i’m embarrassed that i started

this book four years ago

uh it’s only 115 pages


i i

learned a lot in the process uh about

what i i didn’t truly understand on how

things work together

uh i’ve spent the last six months

getting it uh

tighter more clear more concise

uh some of what we covered today is

covered because if you understand what

look at the title process and the other

p word


which is also process


it’s about how to bring process into

your culture and make it live and

breathe so yes we do cover the process

process in depth

uh but some good pre-work as well as uh

before that and held to continue that

into your culture

to help your whole team live and breathe

process which makes for consistently

positive results i hope to actually

click send to the publisher this week

maybe it takes me two weeks and then i’m

sure there’s some light editing and a

book cover to design

uh hopefully it’ll be available by the

end of the quarter

maybe a little aggressive

uh that’s the plan

wonderful what questions do we have

um there was a good comment on facebook

um about the screenshots um

i think the keyboard being moderation um

there’s definitely people who appreciate

you know the visual aspect of

learning things and

keeping track of things but


would you agree that needs to be in

moderation or does it just make it

helpful either way


i tend to avoid screenshots i i never

say never i’m not an absolute an

absolutist by any means

uh and again different if it’s

client-facing give them screenshots but

our techs should know what’s going on

and if we feel there’s something unclear

uh then maybe a screenshot could help to

make sure they’re in the right place etc

but i mean screenshots change

uh screenshots take time to

cut and paste

uh to store to search through to scroll


uh so i would definitely use it

sparingly uh

i like for example you know we use

connect-wise a lot of i.t firms do

if i have to show you a picture of uh

connect-wise i should have covered that

in connect-wise training

or i should teach you how to use the


uh and then in the sop for you know what

we’re trying to achieve i can just say


in the time sheets module

uh versus having to show click by click

and scroll three screens to find the

information that you need yeah so i

guess i mean you can i i can totally see

a point so i mean supplement um the main

part of the data with just the text and

i guess use it when pictures speak

louder than words um if not maybe

moderation you know another uh important

lesson that we’re even learning

internally as we create templates for


and for our audience is there’s a

difference in


piece of paper that teaches somebody


and something that is your documentation

which is writing down the decisions

we’ve made

training is different

than a process that’s different than a

template so keep your audience in mind

are you teaching somebody the first time

uh what about your team of 12 who needs

to reference it every day for the next

six years is it still suitable for them

uh knowing your audience is certainly

easier said than done yeah i’m convinced

there’s a teacher mount fish reference

somewhere in here

there’s a which reference a teacher man

to fish

i teach a mint fish uh yeah uh

you’re in that business already

teach a person to fish and they will uh

eat for a lifetime versus hanging them a

fish and they will have a meal indeed

we have adam here with a question that’s

right up on the screen

uh yeah it separates everyone to write

documents the same way with the same

style should we create a template to

start from

uh absolutely i know when we were using

word in our early our early maturity

model days

we had a template it was

right protected so you just double

clicked it you could start typing and it

had all the fill in the blank areas

which is great

uh many documentation platforms have

similar or at least their defaults are

good enough you can leave them intact

even in it glue you could create a

sample process and just mark it like hey

this is when in doubt make it look like

this to know how your headings

and text should look

and i see a reference to style guides as


style guides can include your template

but should also specify again even as

simple as font font size


i mean i’m picky when we were writing a



change management at the bottom we put

initials dash

uh date code which is year month


two digits each uh followed by three to

five words and one change and it’s

italicized centered size eight

uh it’s it’s specific and when you think

about oh that doesn’t matter

what happens when you start trying to

reference these pieces and they and they


generally the right thing but they’re in

different places in the document one’s

on the right ones in the left you’re

trying to quickly reference that begins

to add up and it’s so easy to be

consistent and clear to be from the


someone who’s added to that thread of

conversation saying they’ve used

specific style guides and documentation

platforms for internal technical sops

yeah and your style can change based on

the type of sop you’re writing maybe you

can take more shortcuts

for good reasons

for internal team but for client facing

you can’t use acronyms

or you must use screenshots

somebody else’s fonts can be set by

default as well and um

that is true i do know of some

exceptions uh depending on the

documentation platform again i’m not

really uh

uh absolutist



hey well training my computer off and

back on uh fix the problem it should

can’t promise you that it will

it’s the age-old

age-old solution to


but um i think we can start wrapping up

alan um um

to anyone who’s watching um either live

now or

later the suicides uh this video will

reside on our youtube channel you can

watch it there at any point i’m going to

throw up a slide here

of our upcoming events


we are very excited that we have a very

busy calendar for the coming months

we’re actually going to be in person

next week alan um you’re going to be in


schomburg at the channel pro smb forum

we’ll have a booth there so please

please if you’re in the area come and

visit us we would love to see you there

we will also have

um a

networking evening on the evening of may

3rd at city works

which uh is right next to the hype

regency in schaumburg

it’s from 5 p.m to 8 p.m so again if you

are in the chicago area please come join

us for a drink we would love to see you

there um we will also be a doing an

industry event in cozumel in may and

um in june in minneapolis so

stay tuned you’ll see details um on any

of the social media channels we have up

um you’ll see information on when and

where and how to register et cetera i do

want to clarify for the uh may third

event uh channel pros events may 4th and

5th that’s why i’m in town right

may 3rd is a full day before the event

for for those who are coming to channel

pro midwest

uh you know your flights may or may not

line up with actually a few people were

like oh i’m going oh wait that’s the day

before nevermind i can’t make it

uh we are you know so far we do have uh

almost a dozen rsvp’s so we’d love to

have you uh you know do some networking

compare some notes ask questions and get

to know each other change your flights

come meet us

uh but please do uh be nice to see you

um i’m also exceedingly excited about

our next three events at itdugg

we have been trying really hard to

give you content that is

right up your alleyway in terms of

documentation and the art of it so we

have uh luke whitelock who is coming in

on may 25th the last wednesday of may to

talk about hudu he’s going to give you

an overview uh give you an intro to some

of the key features and hopefully answer

some of your questions and answers about

who do um i know this is a topic that

would be it’s uh interesting to um

everyone on the group because of the

conversations that have been going on um

there’s also matthew galumi galini who

is uh one of our friends slash clients

who will be coming in uh in june to talk

about lion guard um he uses it a lot and

very familiar with it so he should be

able to talk to you about any questions

you have on that

and we’ll have uh the eureka process

team um come in and talk about network

diagramming in july so

um a lot of good content coming your way

it is the last wednesday of every month

uh that’s when we have our rtd webinars

so watch the space thank you to everyone

who attended today and anyone who’s

watching this video in the future alan

thank you so much

thank you siri great job



IT-what?? What is ITDUG?

IT Documentation Users Group (ITDUG) is a Facebook group for sharing tips and tricks for documenting IT systems using any documentation platform recommended for IT Service providers, including internal IT departments. Join IT documentation professionals for discussions on IT documentation analysis, planning, and implementation of best practices in IT Documentation.

The group originated by Tracy Hardin, IT/MSP owner in 2018 to co-learn ITGlue​ and later adapted it into a forum for all IT documentation platforms. Shortly thereafter, Eureka Process joined as co-admins. ITDUG now has over 3000 members and growing! Organized by a community of like-minded professionals united by a passion for documenting IT infrastructure and processes.

Team Eureka contributes a documentation-related webinar on the last Wednesday of every month. You can watch previous ITDUG webinars here. Share and learn the latest practices and strategies for documenting technology infrastructure, systems, policies, and procedures.

Leave a comment below with your suggestions on topics you’d like to see covered and discussed. 👇