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15 June 2010 | Alim Ozcan Blog
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Formatting Process Documents for Usability
This week Alim looks at the importance of formatting process documentation correctly to ensure its usability by the target audience...

  Alim Ozcan

I have had the opportunity of reviewing numerous Service Management process documents produced by large and small consultancies, as well as individuals and my experience shows that on the majority of occasions, they have missed the point about its content and how the document should be formatted. More often than not, the documents are written with the purpose of ensuring that it is as aligned as much as possible to the ITIL theory (text copied verbatim from the books) rather than what is practically relevant for the process.

For example, some documents have been over 30 pages long, not been adapted to the company, included paragraphs that were irrelevant, included several pages on policy when it was unnecessary, referenced other documents to complete the process when it should have been a self sufficient document, been full of grammatical errors that have hindered the key messages, been inconsistent with other relevant documents etc.

The main point that I wanted to make in this blog is actually a continuation from my last blog, which focused on being customer centric and I would advocate that same applies to process documents. These documents must have the process owner and the team that is going to use the document as its target audience so that it is useable. The acid test that I use to guide me is: if the document was passed to another process team or to the customer, would they be able to understand within 15 minutes, what was being delivered and how to operate the process? Isn’t this more important than ensuring that every single theoretical detail is listed in the document?

Feedback and comments are always welcome!

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4th November 2010

Hi Alim

You are so right...., it is one of the most difficult tasks ever...

Have you any template or form to structure your process dos which proved to work well?


Romain Fettes


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