A development group for X-ray systems wanted to model and document all of their development processes in a standardized way. The new process documentation was intended to facilitate training for new employees and to form the basis for successful certification. As documentation experts, we were asked to support the subject matter experts in creating standardized and user-friendly process descriptions in English.
Approach and methods
To standardize processes, we worked with the project managers to develop guidelines for describing processes. These guidelines defined the structure, terminology, and visualization of process descriptions and were also applied to the templates that the subject matter experts were to use for their process documentation. We provided these services:
- Reworking the MS Word templates for process documentation
- Reworking the MS Visio template for process visualization (swim lane diagrams)
- Developing a company-specific process terminology and collection of terms in a glossary
- Developing a schema for process steps
- Documenting the guidelines in the company wiki
Each process had a dedicated process owner. We helped these owners define process steps and interfaces to other processes. Technical writers and process owners collaborated to write the process descriptions. We provided these services:
- Interviewing subject matter experts to define process steps and interfaces to other processes
- Gathering relevant documents for individual process steps (document templates)
- Defining and documenting process roles
- Participating in process definition workshops
- Writing and reviewing process descriptions, including process diagrams
- Reviewing all processes as part of the official review in preparation for certification
After the process definition and documentation phases were complete, we participated in the creation of training materials, which were used to train the development group to use the new processes.