LEARN & GROW FROM MY
Daily Tech Thoughts
Scaling Your Programs With Documentations & Tutorials
You probably already know that you should be documenting every process you are running in your business – regardless of the scale of your business.
Either way, that’s just the truth. At some point, you’re gonna have to document every step so that you either don’t forget it yourself OR your team members can easily fulfill tasks that are given to them in a much more efficient way.
I know it’s easy to say.
“Yes! We are documenting”
“Yes! We are now gonna start to document.”
Of course, I realize how hard it is to actually implement. How to actually sit down with the people involved in the process and write down the step-by-step tasks, getting it approved by everyone and continuing to maintain it as you use it regularly.
Of course, I know how difficult it is to get everyone together to talk about the actual process, what could’ve been done better, what was done very well and all the other realizations you discovered along the way.
Of course, I figured out how annoying it is to continue to tell your team members to keep notes of what they did or what needs to be done to complete their tasks ON TOP of actually just doing their task.
It’s a double whammy!
Of course, I know that.
Above all that, WE all know that it needs to be done. If we want to scale and grow…
IT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
So, I really can’t sugar coat this and I just have to say – suck it up and just get it done!
Kinda harsh to some, so let me help you by giving you some tools that will make your life so much easier!
The documentation I’m mostly talking about is for businesses who are more digital or online. This is for those who do daily tasks using a computer vs physical tasks.
Most of these tools can be used on any type of business, obviously. It’s just a matter of preference and knowing what works best for your company.
So, let’s begin.
Where to store your documentations?
In IT (Information Technology), we call this Knowledgebase (KB). It is where you will find all instructions, tutorials, explanations, documentations and basically any guide you need to solve any issue or task.
The word knowledgebase has been adapted by many other industries and has been widely used these days.
Sometimes, it’s also called a user manual, support center, help articles and so much more. It’s all technically the same.
There are many platforms online where you can collect all of your documentations in a more organized way. You can group them by topic, category, which team it should be assigned to and even let you have private and public articles.
I do recommend using an online platform for your Knowledgebase. It is absolutely not expensive! There are even free options out there!
The other benefit of having your docs on a online KB platform is that you can store instructions or user manuals for your customers who are using your website, membership portal or online program portal. It’s not just for your team but also for your customers. You can separate logged in from logged out users. That means you’ll get less support questions.
I’m pretty sure you know all that already seeing it from all the other platforms you’ve signed up on, right? That’s pretty much it! You just have to imagine how to add it to your own systems and business.
So here are my top suggestions:
(Note: I’m not going to compare these tools right now. Maybe some other post but I will give the top choices based on functionality and ease of use – because the last thing you want is to maintain yet another beast which is supposed to maintain the already existing beast, if you get what I mean!)
- Freshdesk or FreshService
How do we document process flow?
Ah! Yes! This is very popular in the IT world too. In fact, when I transitioned from IT corporate job to Tech business, I was shocked that not a lot of people know what a workflow or flow chart is.
Yes, most are familiar with the word but do not really know how it works and how to create it in a way that it’s actually easy for everyone to understand vs trying to explain the thing that should be explaining everything else, right?
I have to tell you though, this is very important not just on the day-to-day task but on your plans! ALL OF YOUR PLANS!
You should have actual visual flow for your launch, your systems, your lead generation – e v e r y t h i n g !
All of the projects or learning module systems we build from scratch always have this flow. Those that we don’t start from scratch, well we’ve never seen one with this actual flow or any kind of documentation dedicated for that system alone. So, depending on what we have to do for the client, we often just create it for them – and if I’m being honest, for us too!
For product launches, YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A WORKFLOW / PROCESS FLOW / SYSTEM FLOW – whatever you want to call it as long as everyone knows it the flow that everyone needs to follow!
I’ve actually learned this from one of the mentors I hired before. He said, it doesn’t matter if everybody says they understand and everything makes sense. This actual visual workflow is still required. The reason is because, even if everyone actually DO understands, the team needs to see 1 picture and 1 picture only. As soon as everyone’s imagining different things even if the flow is the same, you’re all no longer on the same page. I agree!
Anyhow, going back to building the flow, here are some images of what a flow may look like.
It’s also sometimes called a mind map. That may be a more common name that most know. In terms of building websites, we also use this tool to not just create a process flow but an actual website flow. Hence, we also build wireframes to show an actual website flow.
So what do we use to create these epic flows?
- Miro (formerly RealTime Board) – what we’re currently using
- Jamboard by Google
Would you rather have video tutorials?
Some prefer just recording a video while doing the actual task as it’s easier than typing things out and numbering them. It helps because you know you won’t miss anything.
Here’s the thing that you need to keep in mind. If the task you’re trying to teach often changes in the procedure, the way it is presented or any change at all, you might want to consider transcribing it instead.
Obvious reason is that you’re gonna have to redo the video tutorial every time change occurs, correct? You don’t want the people you teach to be confused down the road. It’ll just end up to be more work for you and a totally annoyed student, team member – whoever that tutorial is for.
I do understand though that there are exceptions to this and there’s definitely a lot of other things out there that needs to be on a video. It’s easier to digest and follow. I get that.
This is why I’m giving you here my suggestions on how to capture your screen for tutorials easily and efficiently.
First of all, know that there are A LOT OF OPTIONS out there. Yes, it had to be all uppercase and bold because there are tons!!
What I’m going to share with you today though are the best of the basics. I honestly like keeping things simple. I don’t like to have too many accounts on too many platforms and too many things to learn while all I need is one thing.
So, if you need to capture how to do things on a website, I like these platforms that you can add as an extension or app to your browser and it will do everything for you all you gotta do is hit record. These tools here will also automatically upload your video to the internet which is perfect if you want to share the link with someone else or if you just want to link that video on your documentation.
- Vimeo Screen Recorder (Browser Extensions) – what we’re currently using
- Loom Recorder
Now, if what you need to capture is outside of a browser – meaning you need to capture everything you’re doing on your computer like accessing different apps/programs – here are the basics.
- Quicktime Player – Mac (yes, it has a screen recorder option and yes, it’s built-in!)
- Windows G – MS Windows (this eats up so much space on your computer. A few minutes could be a gigantic file. So I like to use Zoom instead but just know this is available for you without having to sign up for other applications.)
Just to share more of our process, we used Zoom for a long time until Vimeo released their new Vimeo extension. I was so crazy happy!
I personally liked to use Zoom because like I said, I don’t like to sign up for so many things and maintain so many apps. I like to keep things simple.
With the Vimeo extension, I don’t need to wait for Zoom to render the video then upload it to our online drive then send it to whoever I need to send it or upload it to Vimeo so that we can then embed it on our KB.
Now, as soon as I’m done, it’s already uploaded on Vimeo ready to be used!
Okay, other things to know…
So, if you’re doing tutorials for website navigation, there are also other more advanced and robust applications that are very easy to set up.
It could get pricey depending on what you need but you’ll be amazed on the things that it can do.
What I’m talking about here are the platforms where it will walk through the exact things you need to click to get the task done. You’re actually clicking on the buttons and links vs just watching it on a video or reading a text.
Anyway, here are the examples. Take a look and see if any of these might be right for you:
Personally, for me. I like having the step-by-step tutorials on text. I already mentioned the reason but let me reiterate. It’s because it’s easier to maintain down the road. Most of the things we do change a lot. Having to maintain a video tutorial KB isn’t really very efficient for us.
I’ve dabbled in the idea of setting something up on Pendo or WalkMe but it will also just take much of the time documenting vs doing.
And right now, I or anyone from our team just don’t have the time for that yet.
I sure do hope this helped you! You may think, you don’t have a lot of processes yet right now but I say do it now!
I promise you, you’ll pull your hair out and your neighbor’s if you wait till you’ve got a mountain of processes already!
Questions about this topic? Comment here.
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