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System documentation is an online record of a software system’s design, functionality, features, and internal working. It is a technical document that is built primarily for IT teams and system administrators, who continuously work towards maintaining and updating a company’s software systems. This documentation explains the capabilities and functionality of a software program in a well-structured format that technical teams can easily understand and use.
System documentation can be an asset for your business if used the right way. Here are some of the key benefits you can derive by creating system documentation:
With system documentation, all information related to your software program is carefully stored in a central location. You can make this document accessible only to specific teams who have to regularly work on maintaining and updating your company’s software systems. This way, you can be assured that your system documentation is in the right hands.
Any issue with your software system can turn into a real challenge if not resolved on time. System documentation acts as a reference guide where your IT team can quickly find solutions to the problems they encounter with your software system. With step-by-step instructions clearly explained in the documentation, the troubleshooting process becomes faster and simpler.
A software system needs regular maintenance. Without proper documentation, updating and maintaining your software systems can take an unreasonable amount of time and effort. A comprehensive system document ensures that developers have all the information they need right up their sleeves, so they can update and maintain your software systems with minimum hassles.
This system documentation template designed by experts at ProProfs helps you get started with the content creation process almost immediately. You don’t have to worry about the structure or format as the template already has that ready for you. It has a table of contents, a home page, and topic-wise sections and sub-sections neatly arranged. As the template is completely customizable, you can easily tailor it to your specific needs.
Creating system documentation is a smooth process, provided you know the right steps. Here are 5 easy steps to get your system documentation ready in a matter of minutes:
No matter what you want to achieve, planning is the first step that decides the course of action you should take. Planning for building system documentation involves deciding the document’s structure, content, as well as the team that will be working on it. Once you have a plan in place, the rest of the process becomes a breeze.
No plan can be successful without a strong team. For your system documentation to come to life the way you want, you should have the right team in place. Identify the key knowledge holders and add them to your team. Specify their roles and responsibilities and let them work together in a streamlined way to create your system documentation.
Once you have your team ready, it’s time to dive all in and start working on the content creation part. This is where online system documentation templates can help you. They have a predefined structure in place. All your team has to do is develop useful content on each topic. They can either write everything from scratch or import content from existing files.
As your team creates content, it is crucial to review each article thoroughly before publishing. The best documentation tools come with a built-in workflow approval system that helps you assign a status to each article based on its stage. You can also set a custom status for articles where you need suggestions or contributions from a specific person in the team.
Creating system documentation is a never-ending job. Even after publishing, you have to constantly keep an eye on how helpful the document is for your IT team. Most documentation tools today provide built-in reports to help you track the performance of your document. You can use these reports to identify articles that need to be improved, deleted, or added.
System documentation templates are incredibly easy to use. With a ready-made structure, all you have to do is place content in the right categories and not worry about how your document will look. You can also add your brand name and logo and use fonts, colors, and themes that go well with your company’s branding. This online system documentation template is easy to customize and can be accessed across devices.
If you are looking for interesting ways to take the quality of your system documentation one level up, here are a few best practices you can adopt:
While writing system documentation, be specific and to the point. Stay away from unnecessary words and try to explain concepts in the simplest way possible. Use simple words and short sentences to avoid confusion. This is a huge help especially for someone who is new to your IT team and is trying to grasp how your software system works.
As system documentation is a valuable resource for your IT team, it’s critical to keep track of every change made to this document. When you know who made the changes to which articles you are better positioned to identify the source of errors in the document. With revision history, you can easily track changes and even restore to a previous version, if necessary.
Even something as complex as system documentation can be easy to understand if you know how to make the right use of visuals. Sometimes, it is a lot easier to explain concepts through images and videos than plain text. With a rich combination of images, videos, and graphics, your team can quickly grasp the document’s content and put it to use.
If your IT team has to spend hours looking for what they need, even minor issues can go out of control. With easily searchable and accessible system documentation, your IT staff can find solutions to software-related problems in a matter of minutes. They can just type the question in the search bar and get instant access to all relevant articles.