Documenting a System or a Process

For more successful writing, answer these discovery questions before you begin!


  • Who will read this documentation? Are there multiple classes of users?
  • What’s their level of education and skill? How much do they already know?
  • What’s their attitude towards the system or process?
  • What’s the reading and learning style of your audience?


  • What exactly have you been asked to deliver? Who asked for this?
  • How much information do you have? From whom? How reliable is your information? Where can you go for more information?
  • What other systems does this interact with?
  • What are the critical parts of the system?


  • Are there any specific actions you want the reader to take?
  • What’s going to prompt your reader to look for this information?


  • Where and how will your readers use this documentation?
  • What’s the best way to present this? Can you use multiple forms or formats?

(back to the Heuristics page…)