Documenting a complex workflow with formula

04/08/21
Accepted

Hi community,


i haven't found anything yet in the community so my question is easy. I've built a complex worklfow with 80+ calculated columns and 20+ unique workflows with a lot of vlookup's and referenced to other sheets in the drive. Now it's time to document the work properly in a way that somebody who has no clue about the work gets a good insight into it.

Is there someone who has/had the problem and found a way to do this properly?


Thank you very much in advance!


Best regards

Oemer

Best Answers

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Lots of work and lots of patience and lots of details and lots of screenshots.


    I start with the purpose of the document. To provide a walkthrough of the process. Then give a broad overview of the reason for the process. What is the main point of all of this? Are you tracking YTD metrics for Department A and presenting them in easy to read executive level dashboards? Are you automating the tracking of inventory from one department to another as a production process is in action?


    Next, start at the very beginning and go step by step through the workflow. If there is an automation, drop in a screenshot of how it is set up and then explain why it is set up that way. Is there a formula? Drop in the formula to include which cell it is in and whether you dragfilled it into other cells or if it is a standalone formula. Explain what the formula does and why.


    Once you get through the finer details, provide a summary that is a little more detailed than the initial overview, but not quite as detailed as the "details" section.


    I wrote one up for a very very complex workspace that I built (VERY complex), and it ended up being about 3,500 pages, but that also included all of the details on the build and management and some troubleshooting to the point where someone who had zero Smartsheet experience could read through the document and completely replicate the entire Workspace.

    thinkspi.com

  • Thank you Paul!

Answers

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Lots of work and lots of patience and lots of details and lots of screenshots.


    I start with the purpose of the document. To provide a walkthrough of the process. Then give a broad overview of the reason for the process. What is the main point of all of this? Are you tracking YTD metrics for Department A and presenting them in easy to read executive level dashboards? Are you automating the tracking of inventory from one department to another as a production process is in action?


    Next, start at the very beginning and go step by step through the workflow. If there is an automation, drop in a screenshot of how it is set up and then explain why it is set up that way. Is there a formula? Drop in the formula to include which cell it is in and whether you dragfilled it into other cells or if it is a standalone formula. Explain what the formula does and why.


    Once you get through the finer details, provide a summary that is a little more detailed than the initial overview, but not quite as detailed as the "details" section.


    I wrote one up for a very very complex workspace that I built (VERY complex), and it ended up being about 3,500 pages, but that also included all of the details on the build and management and some troubleshooting to the point where someone who had zero Smartsheet experience could read through the document and completely replicate the entire Workspace.

    thinkspi.com

  • Thank you Paul!

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    Happy to help. 👍️

    thinkspi.com

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