emily.billing@nintex.com

Document your workflow - Ideas and Tips from the Nintex community

Blog Post created by emily.billing@nintex.com Champion on Jun 8, 2015

Have you ever needed to document your workflow, and if so, how have you done it? This post was generated from the discussion Did you ever need to document your workflow?

 

You'll find a summary of the suggestions our members have on how they document their workflows. Feel free to continue leaving comments below with any of your own suggestions, and let us know if you also use some of these ideas.

 

The importance of documentation

 

From Mike M

You really can't go wrong as long as your documentation tells the story that is required to be told. I would say that the documentation that I've had to write depends greatly on the complexity of the workflow, as well as what would help the customer best understand the workflow/business process at hand. This often includes a mixture of text with screen shots captured of the most important parts of the workflow (or sometimes the parts least likely to be understood).

 

Tools

Snagit

From Rency Gonzalez

 

What I have done is used snagit to take screenshots and then paste it into a word document. With Snagit you can crop and add call outs or arrows to the screenshot using the Snagit tools.  Next to the screen shot you could possibly add a few bullet points on what the actions are doing. I attached a sample screenshot of what I have in my workflow document. I hope it helps.sample wf.png

 

Use the Print functionality in Nintex Workflow

From Christof Meyer

 

There are two options to print a Nintex workflow, one is Print only and one is called Print with Notes.

When you configure an item, take the tab "labels" and in the section: "Notes to display", choose User defined and write your comment in this

field.

Screenshot1.jpg

Screenshot2.jpg

When you print it, you can see your comments below the workflow. With big workflows, you should split in Main- and subworkflows not only for readability. Further information: Breaking up a large workflow, to split or not to split? Approach to splitting a Nintex Workflow  Defensive Workflow Design Part 3 - Separation of Concerns

 

Visio and Excel

From Andrew Glasser

 

When my audience is less technical I almost always use visio to document the process of the workflow. Visio also helps when designing a workflow before build with technical teams as well. Then once it is built we can review using the screen captures or print outs of the workflow itself from the Nintex Designer with notes.

 

Many times I use Excel to supplement some areas that need to be documented. Such as notifications and tasks. With Excel we will map out the different components of the notifications. Like Subject, Body, and assigned to. This is very useful when building a workflow that has many notifications. But may not be necessary for a simpler workflow.

 

Eric Rhodes also uses a combination of Visio and Excel with Action Labels to document workflows.

 

I work with clients to document the "business process" side of the workflows with Visio.  This allows the client map out the entire process to better understand and document how everything currently works.  This also helps to distinguish between automated and manual (non-workflow) processes.  A key component of this diagram is providing a numbering system for each task that corresponds to an automated action in the workflow.

 

Documenting the task and notifications in an Excel spreadsheet is a huge help.  The spreadsheet includes components like task name, task details, task assignees, email subject, email body, and email recipients.  This allows clients to really think about and plan out how tasks and notifications are laid out.  These details are often overlooked and cause headaches down the line.  The spreadsheet also serves as a good future reference point and easy way for users to make changes.  I also use the numbering system from the Visio diagram to link actions together.

 

Greenshot

From Aaron Labiosa

 

Pairing up the opensource tool Greenshot with Workflow Analyzer is what I like to use for documentation/ annotation of workflows.

 

Workflow Analyzer

Aaron Labiosa 's tool named "Workflow Analyzer" has some useful features that could be used for documentation. Take a look at >>> Workflow Analyzer - Initial Beta Release

 

Labelling the Workflow Actions

 

From burkslm and Eric Rhodes

  • Update the labels in the actions. You can just change the text in the actions. That has been good enough for me.
  • I suggest using the action labels in the workflow designer to document workflows. I typically use a descriptive title in the Action Title label, the corresponding number from the numbering system in the Left or Right Text label, and the action assignee or recipient in the Bottom text label.  This systems helps workflow users or designers quickly understand details about each action.
  • How to set the workflow action labels

 

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