Anyone have any guidance on how best to document workflow?

Dale MurphyDale Murphy ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 03/24/21 in Staying on the Same Sheet
03/23/21 Edited 03/24/21
Accepted

... or, "SmartSheet, meet Process"

I have a reasonably complex process built out in SmartSheet but need a way to:

  1. More easily document the flow, along with all branches;
  2. Create a process flow diagram from the existing SmartSheet objects.
  3. Document all messages (Alert contents, Request for Update contents), to make it easier for process owner to understand what recipients will see and experience;

Open to Best Practices, but prefer really good practices that are in use. 

Cheers,

@DMurphy

ps How is it there is no tag for process??? Or documentation?

Best Answer

  • Genevieve P.Genevieve P. admin
    Accepted Answer

    I see - no, there currently isn't a way to automatically document all the workflow details and how they link together into a different document or sheet. You could take screen captures of the workflow set up itself, but that would be on an individual basis.

    You could also use the Smartsheet API to list all the different workflows associated with a sheet (see here), but again, this wouldn't identify your own personal processes or how your workflows work together for your full process.

    In regards to the branding or messaging from automatic emails, what about using Zapier to connect with a messaging service, such as MailChimp, so you can customize the format?

    Cheers!

    Genevieve

Answers

  • Hi @DMurphy

    What I've done before is use Lucidchart to create the flow diagram to show the process and all the branching pathways. Then I've used the Lucidchart image either on a Dashboard or attached to a row (depending on the team/process).

    You could potentially use a Gantt chart to identify the flow of tasks as well, if you wanted to visualize the timeline. Then you could have a column that documents the messages associated with each row/task. (See: Free Process Map Templates)

    I'd be interested to hear another member's suggestion as well!

    I hope this helps,

    Genevieve

    PS I've added in the tags suggested to the Community - thank you!

  • Dale MurphyDale Murphy ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @Genevieve P

    I guess I've worked with developers too long ... I was hoping for a "self-documenting" function, something that would extract all the workflow details into another document.

    Those templates are promising (using Lucidchart is a longer term objective).

    I am exploring the idea of creating a workflow message in a column (e.g., concatenating several column names with {{}} to create message content which itself becomes the message ...

    The tool really needs a design function to make the workflow messages cleaner. I am having trouble convincing HR (for e.g.,) that SmartSheet can replace some survey tools because the messages the users see isn't as attractive.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Dale

  • Genevieve P.Genevieve P. admin
    Accepted Answer

    I see - no, there currently isn't a way to automatically document all the workflow details and how they link together into a different document or sheet. You could take screen captures of the workflow set up itself, but that would be on an individual basis.

    You could also use the Smartsheet API to list all the different workflows associated with a sheet (see here), but again, this wouldn't identify your own personal processes or how your workflows work together for your full process.

    In regards to the branding or messaging from automatic emails, what about using Zapier to connect with a messaging service, such as MailChimp, so you can customize the format?

    Cheers!

    Genevieve

  • I also use a image of my process flow but I use smartdraw - in a dashboard I always put a disclaimer to click on a process flow to be able to see it larger - a common complaint ( it is too small to read )

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