Do you struggle with creating and managing documentation for your enterprise applications? If so, you are not alone. According to the Open Source Survey by GitHub and collaborators, 93% of respondents say they frequently encounter incomplete or outdated documentation. This can lead to frustration, confusion, errors, and wasted time and resources.
Documentation is vital for any enterprise application. It helps users learn how to use a software, get around systems, troubleshoot issues, and follow best practices. It also aids developers in maintaining and updating the software while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.
However, creating and managing documentation can be a challenging and time-consuming task. You need to ensure that the documentation is accurate, up-to-date, and easy to access. You also need to consider the different types of documentation, such as user manuals, training guides, technical specifications, or process flows.
How can you create and manage high-quality procedural documentation for your enterprise applications? In this blog post, we will explore key aspects of procedural documentation, including its definition, importance, best practices, and a tool called Runthru Instruction that simplifies the process.
What is Procedural Documentation and Why is it Important?
Procedural documentation is a type of documentation that provides step-by-step instructions, screenshots, diagrams, or videos on how to perform specific tasks or processes using an application or system. It plays a crucial role for the following reasons:
- It enables users to effectively and efficiently utilise the application.
- It reduces errors and mistakes by providing clear and consistent guidance.
- It enhances user satisfaction and retention through an improved user experience.
- It saves time and resources by reducing the need for extensive training or support.
- It increases productivity and performance by streamlining workflows and processes.
Best Practices for Creating Procedural Documentation
Creating high-quality procedural documentation requires careful planning, execution, and evaluation. Consider the following best practices:
- Define your audience and purpose: Identify who will use the documentation and what they need to achieve. Tailor the content, tone, and format to suit their needs and expectations.v
- Use a clear and consistent structure: Organise the documentation into logical sections and subsections with clear hierarchies. Utilise headings, subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists to break down information into manageable chunks. Use transitions and connectors to guide the reader through the document.
- Write concise and simple instructions: Use clear and simple language, avoiding jargon and technical terms. Employ an active voice and imperative verbs to indicate actions. Keep sentences and paragraphs short, conveying one idea at a time. Avoid unnecessary details or information that may confuse or distract the reader.
- Provide visual aids: Include screenshots, diagrams, or videos to illustrate steps or processes. Ensure visual aids are relevant, accurate, and up-to-date. Use annotations, captions, or labels to highlight important features or elements. Maintain consistent styles and colours.
- Test and validate your documentation:
- Self-review: Check for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting errors. Ensure clarity, coherence, and consistency. Verify instructions for correctness and completeness.
- Peer-review: Seek feedback from a colleague or subject matter expert regarding technical accuracy, relevance, content structure, and style.
- User-testing: Ask a representative sample of your target audience to use the documentation to perform a task or process. Observe their experience and gather feedback to identify and address any issues or gaps.
How to Use Runthru Instruction to Create Procedural Documentation
Runthru Instruction is a powerful tool that simplifies the creation of high-quality procedural documentation for enterprise applications. Here’s how it can assist you:
Capture Screens Instantly
Runthru Instruction enables you to gather a collection of screenshots of your tasks or processes, allowing you to edit them using various tools such as cropping, resizing, and blurring.
Generate step-by-step instructions faster than ever before
The markup tools are the core to the products' appeal. It's not just simple shapes on a screenshot, Runthru Instructions' annotation toolset is remarkable. It allows numbered steps, complete with text to be created in seconds, and reordered even faster.
Publish and distribute your documentation
Runthru Instruction supports publication in various formats, such as PDF, HTML, Word, PowerPoint, and can even be packaged as a SCORM file. Distribute your documentation through channels like MS Teams, email, web, intranet, LMS, or SharePoint.
Just to be clear, you can publish all the outputs from one work effort. The appplication will format your work to suit the different outputs.
Create video tutorials
Runthru Instruction also enables the creation of instant video tutorials that guide users through application tasks or processes. The intelligent engine welcomes change in the system too, allowing you to update the video tutorials in just a few clicks.
Procedural documentation is an essential component of enterprise applications. It empowers users to effectively utilise the software while improving satisfaction and retention.
Creating and managing procedural documentation can be challenging, but with tools like Runthru Instruction, the process becomes streamlined and efficient with world class results.
Are you ready to create high-quality procedural documentation for your enterprise? If so, visit runthru.com, where you can find more information and organise a free trial.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and found it useful and informative.
What are some of the challenges or benefits you’ve encountered in creating and managing procedural documentation for your enterprise applications? We would love to hear your thoughts and questions too.