Creating Awesome Documentation: Your questions answered!

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No matter who you are – a beginner admin or an advanced admin – creating robust documentation is important. Documenting your unique & customized business processes will help, not only your users and colleagues, but it will be a lifesaver for ‘future you’. If you have a hard time remembering what you had for breakfast today, I can guarantee you that you won’t remember why you created a custom object with 80 checkboxes six months ago!

So now that you’re convinced, you can watch the webinar and follow these 4 steps to get started today!   

4 Simple Steps to Follow

1. Determine your audience & your documentation needs

Who are you documenting for? Mainly your end-users? Other admins? Future you? Probably all of the above! Understanding your audience will both help you determine what you need to write about but also how to write about it.

2. Pick a tool

There are lots of different ways to go about documentation. My recommendation is using an online Wiki like Google Sites. I would also recommend staying away from using a static program like Microsoft Word. The key is to find something that is easy to update and easy to use – a living document!  

3. Follow the process

As I outline in my Wiki about creating wikis, there are four main steps to creating documentation: plan, write, publish, repeat. It’s that simple!

4. Dedicate time to documenting

Documentation is a constant activity that needs continued attention. The second you stop caring, things will become outdated and unusable!

Your Top Questions Answered

In addition to the 4 steps, we’ve answered some of the popular questions from the webinar here. You can also check my Wiki for more info and/or post additional questions in the Success Community group.

  • How much time do you typically estimate to do documentation for a customer? That really depends on the customer and their needs. In general, and this is a VERY rough estimate, I’d say 5% of the time should be devoted to documentation.
  • Do you schedule a portion of every day/week for documentation, or do you document as you go? What do you recommend as a best practice? Depends on what you’ll do consistently. I know of myself that if I don’t schedule it on my calendar it won’t happen, so I block off time each week.
  • Would I need to be worried about the privacy of my organization’s creative information if using a Google Site (or other web-based tool)? The nice thing about Google Sites is that you get to pick who can see what. With the wiki in the preso, I picked the “everyone can see everything” setting. More info here. 
  • What’s the point of keeping deprecated documentation? Keeping deprecated documentation is great for reference. When you can’t remember how the original process looked, or why it was changed, or to refresh your memory about a former process or field.
  • Does Config Workbook capture a field’s description/help text? Unfortunately, no.
  • Is there a way to do documentation that is consumable and searchable like a Wiki directly in Salesforce? I’ve often wished there were a wiki app that was IN Salesforce. To my knowledge, there isn’t one. Someone should build one!!

Don’t see your question here? Check the Success Community to see all the questions and ask yours!

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