Level of detail for processes

  • 13 April 2021
  • 4 replies

How much detail do you provide in your Promapp processes and procedures? We're scoping out how to level our processes but would like to hear your thoughts/experiences on when there is too much/too little detail.

Our current scope is the following in Promapp:

Level 0 - set up Promapp Groups using the organisational hierarchy (Corporate > IT > IT Support)

Level 1 - High-level process, linking processes used by that team

Level 2 - Promapp Process, main Activities needed to achieve desired outcome

Level 3 - Promapp Procedure, summary of what Tasks need to be done to complete each Activity within the Process (listing which system is used)

Level 4 - External user guide, detailed step-by-step instructions on how to do each Task (with screenshots, videos etc.)


Our main challenge is to decide how we want people to use Promapp. Do they use it to get an overarching view of all processes required in their team and their dependencies, or do they use it for step-by-step instructions on how to perform their tasks? We've had feedback that some organisations didn't have good Promapp user engagement because there was too much detail, however we don't want there to not be enough detail that people don't get the necessary information and therefore don't find Promapp useful...


Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

4 replies

Badge +2

Hi Josie,

To decide how much detail you need, you need to satisfy yourself that a new starter will be able to complete the process without needing to ask someone else for assistance.

 In doing this, you should consider the swimlane role; for example, if you have an activity asking a manager to send an email, then you can safely assume that you would not hire a manager who cant use email, so going to the level of detail describing how to send an email is unnecessary. However if perhaps your activity asked the swimlane participant to do something in your CRM, even if you exclusively hire people with decades of experience, chances are your CRM is set up different to whatever they have used in the past, so detailed click by click work instructions would be needed.

The other thing that you need to consider is how you layer your information. All of the granular detail should be in your L4 external work instructions so that, for people who don’t need the detail, the process itself is nice and clean, but if someone needs the click-by-click guidance, they can download the work instruction and the detail is still available to them.

Finally, the main tip that I would have for you is to make sure you get your processes tested as that is the only way to really find out which parts of your process need more detail or are hard to understand. Ideally you will get the processes tested by someone who doesn’t perform the process in their job (someone from a different team or department perhaps).


Hi Josie,


Looking at your scope, I would think that your Level 3 should be completed as Tasks or Notes in your process activities.


It's great to use external guides with more details in them, but I often find that people get frustrated quickly by having to click through or away to other documents too often.  


I guess I want to say with answering your question, is it depends, How complex are your systems? - If they are intuitive then you'll find you need less detail in the Process. If they are complicated, I would defer to external procedure documents and link them in notes of the activity.  How digitally aware are your users?  Are they typically used to using technology?  Digital natives often need less detail for app based processes (depending on your apps UI).  


The other question to ask yourself is what is your purpose of Promapp?  Is it to help capture and communicate business processes, or is it to be the font of all knowledge for procedures?  It's important to keep in mind the difference between process and procedure in this instance.  


I would start at the high level, give your users the overarching view of processes, and step down into increasing levels of detail as you build out your process knowledge across the organisation.  If you try to capture all the detail to start with, you may find you don't make much progress.  Teach your users about using the feedback features of Promapp and let them "ask" for more detail on processes where you don't have enough of the procedure captured.


The other aspect I try to use is to build your process from the perspective of a new employee.  The most common question from new employees is "How do I ....?" Having your processes at a high level can help answer that.  You could add notes to your processes where you lack detail that directs them to the right roles/people to help.  And empower those people to create the procedural details.


Sorry but none of this is revolutionary, or a direct answer, you'll need to figure out what works for you.  




Hi Andrews - thank you for your reply.


You're right, none of this is revolutionary however I feel you've highlighted some great points so thank you. I particularly like the idea of using the feedback feature so they can ask for more detail - this stops us telling them what they need to know and instead gives them the opportunity tell us what they need.


It's also great to have validation in our approach: yes, we are starting to document our higher-level processes and then work our way down to more detail as necessary.


Thank you again for your thoughts, they're very much appreciated.


Hi Ishansellahewa Friday - thank you for your comments.


Yes indeed, testing is essential so thank you for highlighting this requirement as it can easily be forgotten in the pressures of delivering a project. 

I also agree with your comments around using the process/procedure as a summary of the main activities/tasks to be completed, as well as providing more detail to linked external sources when necessary.


Thank you again for your comments, I really appreciate you're time.