Best Process Documentation Tools

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Think of the time and effort you’ve spent creating processes to streamline your business, but then found that updating information was a nightmare. The fact is, you’re probably not investing enough in creating processes. And before you say it, yes we all have busy lives and it’s hard to fit everything in. Unfortunately hard doesn’t mean impossible which is why it’s worth investing into software that can help you.

Business processes are a critical part of businesses. This is why it is vital to have a structured process for them. With the help of the best process documentation software, companies can optimize processes and improve relationships with their customers and partners. Although there are many tools on the market, some are more suitable than others depending on what features you need.

Due to the fact that your project is moving in many ways forward, you will always need to make sure that it stays consistent. The best way to do so would be to connect everything together, so there are fewer points of weakness. To achieve this, you need a structured flow that automatically captures data. For example, if an employee changes his email or telephone number, it needs to be updated across all of the systems in use – and only then can you say that the process is “well-documented”.

By now you are familiar with importance of process documentation software. The benefits you get after using process documentation software will make you feel that it is an important thing in our life. Have you ever selected a best process documentation tools for your business? If not, this article will be very helpful for you.

Why are document processes important?

Documenting processes can provide a multitude of benefits to an organization. These include-

1. To improve existing processes

To know what to do, you must know where to start. Process documentation, thus, provides the eagle-eye view to a process and helps businesses figure out new strategies and tactics to create efficiencies in the workplace

2. Use it as Training Material

Documentation acts as a “syllabus” for new hires and gets them up to speed with their new roles. This saves a significant amount of time for managers who would otherwise need to explain detailed processes to new hires.

3. Reduce Operational Ambiguity

Documentation reduces a lot of confusion in the workplace. Anyone can access the process document anytime as it acts as a central repository for knowledge and information for the whole organization. This type of transparency stops any sort of tension from building within teams

4. Preserve Key Knowledge

By making a note of each and every step, everyone in the team knows how a particular process is carried out. So when a “high profile” or a critical employee leave, he/she doesn’t take the process knowledge with them.

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5. Provide detailed Analysis

Process documentation makes it easier for management teams to analyze and compare previous versions of a process with new ones and calculate efficiency, reduced costs, and analyze other important metrics.

What are the different types of process documentation?

There are three main types of process documentation:

  • process maps,
  • procedures, and
  • work instructions.

As you might imagine, process maps visually represent business processes. Think, for example, of a flowchart depicting activities and interdependencies.

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By contrast, a procedure describes in writing how a process should be performed. Typically, this is done with a Word document.

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The final type of process documentation is work instructions. These are like procedures but they’re more specific, providing step-by-step instructions as to how tasks within a process should be performed.

To better illustrate these concepts, here are process documentation examples you might come across at your own organization:

  • A flowchart of how an incoming order is processed (process map)
  • A document explaining the general steps that are performed when hiring a new manager (procedure)
  • A document that explains step-by-step how to create a job posting for an organization (work instructions)

What to look for in process documentation tools

When performing process documentation, you’ll definitely want to search for tools that offer the following benefits:

  • Easy-to-use: If nobody can figure out how to document a process with your tool, guess what? It probably won’t get used. For that reason, you’ll want to make sure that any process documentation software you invest in is easy to get up-to-speed on—fast.
  • Integrations: The best process documentation tools allow you to share data with other applications your team uses. This prevents the likelihood your team will duplicate efforts by recreating the same information in multiple places—a problem that the home health care organization faced. Integration will also help your business run more efficiently, since relevant data can be easily accessed from all the important software programs your company uses.
  • Mobile-friendly – With more and more people relying on their phones for office-related work, mobile-friendly software is the way to go. It’ll allow your team members to easily access all the important information they need, whether they’re working from home, traveling, or in a meeting.
  • Versatility – The best process documentation tools have robust functionality. Rather than just do one thing well (like create text documents, for example), the best tools also make it easy to represent data visually, in the form of flowcharts, mind maps, swim lane diagrams, etc. Ideally, you should also be able to easily add links or attachments to support documentation to add more depth to your instructions.

5 examples of process documentation tools

There are a number of valuable process documentation software tools available. Here are some of the most commonly used ones:

1. Google Docs

You’re probably familiar with Google Docs already. This cloud-based software allows users to easily create word documents and share them with others. As such, it can be useful for small businesses that want to create procedures or work instructions.

2. Microsoft Word

The forerunner to Google Docs, Microsoft Word is another great choice for creating procedures and work instructions. And, although not commonly used for process flows, it does offer that capability via its SmartArt feature.

3. Evernote

Although Evernote is best known for being a note-taking app, it can also document small workflows. For instance, Evernote can be used to create procedures, checklists, and work instructions or how-to’s.

4. Microsoft Visio

Like Microsoft Word, Visio has been around for a long time. This visual app allows users to create process flows using various diagrams. However, the software isn’t entirely intuitive, the licensing costs can run high, and some users report that Visio can be daunting to get started with.

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5. MindManager

Admittedly, we may be a tad bit biased, but MindManager is our favorite software for process documentation. With MindManager, users can easily create all kinds of visual diagrams, like process maps, flowcharts, swim lane diagrams, knowledge maps, timelines, concept maps, and more. It can even import a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel document, transforming the text into a structured map!

Plus, collaboration is easy with MindManager. The software allows you to brainstorm ideas in real-time, sharing maps and files. It also allows for co-editing and different user access levels. As a result, MindManager makes it easy for companies to create process documentation, which typically involves a lot of back-and-forth between various departments.

Lastly, MindManager allows you to turn your process framework into an actionable project or workflow management tool. Build out the structure and content of your process using a pre-built of custom template, and then add resources, task assignments, links and attachments, due dates, task dependencies, and more. This helps you move from process planning to execution, all within the same document.

Learn more about process documentation in MindManager by watching this free, on demand webinar. Click the play button to watch the webinar.

And there you have it! These are some of the most well-known process documentation software applications that are available on the market today.

While they all offer a myriad of benefits, we recommend that when making your selection, you remember the most important features to look for that we mentioned earlier– ease-of-use, robust functionality, integration capabilities, and mobile-friendly software.

6. ProcessMaker

ProcessMaker is an open-source software that can help you to document your process through a low-code business process management platform.

ProcessMaker is an open-source software that allows for easy workflow automation for large companies. Through a low-code business process management platform, users can quickly design and automate whatever workflow they need.

You can use ProcessMaker to visually design workflows and approval workflow screens, monitor your workflows through visual dashboards, and easily handle process management through its drag-and-drop interface.

Although somewhat expensive, ProcessMaker is perfect for users who have minimal coding experience and are looking for a quick way to automate their workflows.

7. Integrify

Integrify is a workflow automation software that allows users to create dynamic workflows and effective web forms.

Integrify is a workflow automation software that allows users to create dynamic workflows and effective web forms. With Integrify, you can easily monitor workflow progress and receive workflow solutions that are as broad or as specific as your company needs.

This platform allows for seamless teammate collaboration by assigning tasks and approvals to the right teammates and letting them create workflows with no need for coding through its user-friendly platform.

Although many integrations are lacking, it is powerfully integrated with Salesforce.

8. Flokzu

With Flokzu, you can create and manage any workflow your company needs.

This cloud-based workflow software allows you to create and manage any workflow your company needs. With Flokzu’s templates, you can get started right away.

Team collaboration is easy with Flokzu, since you can manage projects through timers and due dates and analyze them through custom reports. If a team member is unavailable, you can quickly replace them by scheduling substitute members in advance.

Flokzu is very easy to use and can integrate with multiple CRMs and other tools through Zapier.

9. Tettra

Tettra is a knowledge base creation tool that allows you to document your process and keep it in one place.

Tettra is a great knowledge base creation tool for managing and keeping your process documentation in one place.

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You can use Tettra to document all your processes by creating libraries and wikis where everyone can collaborate and update as they go along. Since Tettra is focused on knowledge management, it has multiple helpful features to allow you to build and collaborate documents with your team.

Tettra also makes useful suggestions about the kinds of content you should add and how you should go about organizing it while helping you along the way.

10. Lucidchart

Lucidchart is a popular tool for creating online diagrams and flowcharts.

Lucidchart is one of the most famous and most used tools for creating online diagrams and flowcharts. 

It’s so easy to use, you can start creating your diagrams as soon as you sign up. The platform also provides you with many templates, mockups, and shapes to get you started right away.

You can also import files from most competitors, including those listed here, so you can quickly and seamlessly switch tools whenever you want. 

With real-time collaboration, you can see who is editing what, and work along with your teammates on the same item.

11. Microsoft Visio

Visio is a pioneering visual process mapping tool that provides intelligent and interactive drawings.

Visio is a pioneering visual process mapping tool, developed in 1992, that provides users with revolutionary intelligent and interactive drawings.

Since Microsoft acquired it in 2000, Visio has conveniently integrated with the rest of Microsoft’s suite, making it the obvious choice for anyone already using Microsoft products.

You can immediately begin using its multiple templates, helpfully arranged by Visio’s sorting feature.

Once you’re done, you can import your charts as images, PDFs, web files, or AutoCAD drawings.

12. SmartDraw

SmartDraw is a versatile visual process mapping tool with powerful integrations.

SmartDraw is a very versatile visual process mapping tool. With multiple templates for everything from software design to house planning, along with multiple large maps, SmartDraw has a very well-curated library to get you started as soon as possible.

When you’re done with your document, you can export it and share it through a variety of third-party solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box. You can also export it to Microsoft Visio or as image files, making the final product very versatile.

Although its user interface isn’t as seamless, SmartDraw is a good budget-friendly option.

What Is a Process Documentation Tool?

Process documentation tools help you document all steps and details of certain tasks and activities. They can document data through tutorials, policies, process maps, etc.

Properly documenting a process is the first step to understanding it. This understanding can be used to train new employees, help existing employees understand how the company works, and even find and fix issues in a process, making it faster and more effective.

These process documentation tools usually focus on a specific process for better results.

Conclusion

Process documentation tools are necessary for a well-oiled machine in any industry. An it documentation application is similar to the training manuals in a high-volume production line where new employees need some sort of handbook to help them with their tasks.

When it comes to Process Documentation, A Methodology is vital for keeping your business running smoothly. The whole idea behind process documentation is making sure that the company’s processes are documented and able to be identified at any point. Process documentation allows for the execution of steps that must be followed for a particular process to achieve a predictable outcome.

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