What is lean & action-oriented documentation?
LeanCash™ documentation starts with identifying user needs and then explaining how to achieve specific goals.
We have drawn upon the concepts of agile development where action-oriented documentation is based on user stories. A user story is a definition of a process whereby a goal is accomplished.
Sample User Story: As a power user, I can specify files or folders to backup based on file size, date created and date modified.
Breaking up a feature or a functionality into multiple smaller user stories enables us to
- Better, manage a project
- Maximize team capacity (using team velocity to estimate similar user stories)
- Give stakeholders real time visibility on the progress of any project
Screen from Our Project Management tool
User stories roll up to a feature, which in turn rolls up to an Epic or a Module.
How can documentation be intuitive and interactive
This manner of specifying a requirement takes the guesswork out of testing. It also aligns with the DevOps concept of Shift Left where testing can start sooner (and now with Visual Studio 2017 at the same time as development).
This relatively newer methodology of executing projects has its pros and cons but for our LeanCash™ clients the pros have always outweighed the cons.
As an application architect, I believe the best software design document is self-documenting code and an intuitive user interface – this ensures the documentation is up to date with the all the changes … always. To this end, our collaborative approach towards projects ensures that documentation starts at the very idea level. We record the meetings and sometime attach them (or part of them) to the user stories as links from our Sharepoint where all meeting recordings are stored by default.
Writing, maintaining & reading of user manuals and documentation can be boring so we try to automate as much as possible and use videos for manuals.
Documentation is not an after-thought but is at the core of software development
Documenting the requirements up front in smaller chunks enables many project deliverables to move in parallel ….
- Quality Assurance team can start writing the Test cases
- Programmers can start working on the database and APIs
- U/X can start meeting with the required members on mockups
- Quality Control can work on the automated test scripts as features are available
- Technical Leads can audit the coding standards (Visual Studio 2017 has made this even better now!)
- Server Admins can work with the programmers to setup the environments and agents required for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (heart of DevOps)
- Project Manager(s) can work with stake holders to decide release management and outline approvers
- Monitoring can be tested once the environments are ready
What is intelligent documentation and how does AI factor into it?
As a part of our LeanCash™ solutions, documentation (like Artificial Intelligence) works at the back end producing value to the users. As users are more familiar with a feature (which we can tell by auto auditing), the inline help for them is gradually removed …
Inline Help – this callout will be removed automatically once the user has used this feature a few times
When we roll-out our LeanCash™ WorkFlow solution <Leveraging workflow solutions with external stakeholders> we have video walk-thru of the screens – these are typically less than a minute long video with voiceover that explains the end user how to use the features …. We take it a notch up by putting auditing on the video as well – this helps us understand if our U/X is intuitive enough!
Our LeanCash™ documentation life cycle is a closed loop implementation from ideas (via our collaboration tools) to monitoring – we use monitoring tools to check the health of the solutions. The monitoring tools such as Microsoft’s Application Insights or ELMAH produces actionable KPIs which we work together with your Operations team to spin up additional resources, inform required members as identified in the escalation matrix or other actions.
Screenshot of our monitoring tool from one of our Clients
Are your applications and processes well documented (not only for compliance and certification but for actual usage)? … check out our LeanCash™ Score to benchmark your documentation standards with others in your industry.
Medullus LeanCash™ is a tried-and-tested solution that draws upon lean concepts to streamline Corporate Treasury by eliminating waste in processes and functions which helps to manage liquidity and risks in the most optimal way.
Our products and services are geared towards making improvements in Treasury & Finance processes to bring big gains with minimal impact. The low hanging fruit is sometimes difficult to find in a large organization with myriad of processes and systems. Take the 1st step in identifying these high value/low risk improvements – get your LeanCash score, benchmark against other organizations that have obtained their score and improved them. It does not cost anything to find out where you are as compared to industry-best-practices!
Blog post by: Sam Banerjee. Reach Sam @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam ensures Medullus's drumbeat of execution is in rhythm (heads Operations!) - an IT professional with a myriad of experience across various platforms and domains with significant knowledge in the design, implementation and testing of various systems for organizations as ADP, Bristol-Myers Squibb & Ross Stores. With a Masters in Computer Science from SUNY, Sam leads the Tech innovations within Medullus (Artificial Intelligence, BlockChain, Mobility, BI).