Business Process Information in a User Guide

Subject: Business Process Information in a User Guide
From: "Keith Posner" <k -dot- posner -at- smarten -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 11:42:08 +0200


I have a question about using business process information as
introductory material in a user guide.

I am documenting an application which is used in the telecomms billing
industry. Early on in the project I am working on I did an audience
analysis. This resulted in a set of business process flow diagrams which
identifies the key roles (user profiles) involved and the processes
which each of these roles performs. In addition these diagrams show the
workflow: the sequence of the processes, which process triggers other
processes, which information is exchanged and how the work flows between
the roles. The diagrams are classic business process maps with

In the latest version of the manual I have been asked to include these
business process maps in the user guide. I objected for two reasons:

1. These diagrams use a specialised notation which is not immediately
understandable to an audience unfamiliar with business process
2. The second point is more difficult to define: The view in this kind
of business process analysis is very much a business process
consultant type of view. I'm having difficulty reconciling this
view with the view I'm using as amy focus for the user guide, that
of a user who needs to use a software application within this
business process

I have considered the idea of describing the business processes using
scenarios and showing how an individual user uses the software
application within the context of each of these scenarios. But I'm sure
many of you have confronted this dilemna before and have other ideas on
how to leverage this business process information.

Many thanks,
Keith Posner


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