March 23, 2023

Why ITSM Process Documentation Matters and How to Build It

IT Management
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What is ITSM?

ITSM (IT Service Management) is the process of providing IT services to end users and includes every aspect of the process, from design to delivery, with a focus on aligning IT services and key business objectives.

This doesn’t just include day-to-day support — ITSM includes all activities related to workplace technology, such as managing devices and software applications.

ITSM naturally involves many processes, from getting new employees their laptops to resolving tickets, and requires lots of technical knowledge, such as network structures. ITSM documentation is the way teams record these processes and structures for easier onboarding, communication, and problem solving.

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Why is ITSM Documentation Important?

Complete, well-crafted, and up-to-date documentation is important for any team. To learn more about the importance of documentation and the benefits it provides (especially when created in Confluence for teams that work in the Atlassian ecosystem), check out our blog on Confluence documentation and how it empowers teams to work better together.

However, for IT teams specifically, there are two primary benefits of having good documentation.

1. Saving Time

ITSM documentation helps teams save time by streamlining the onboarding process and reducing the time required to search for solutions. When newcomers have documented processes to refer to, they can get up to speed faster and easier to provide high-level service, and even experienced team members can use documentation to deliver solutions faster.

Some ITSM teams create documentation for users to refer to in order to address common issues with easy fixes, which can also help the team save time by reducing the number of tickets that users need to open, allowing the team to focus on issues that require more of their attention.

2. Ensuring Consistency

When ITSM processes are documented, customers and users can feel confident that they will receive the same level of service regardless of if they’re being helped by the least or most experienced person on the team. Smooth, consistent service is one of the highlights of an effective ITSM team, and documentation plays an important role in achieving that standard.

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3 Tips for Documenting ITSM Processes

For general tips about documenting your ITSM processes in Confluence, our blog on how to supercharge your Confluence documentation may be helpful as well as our Ultimate Guide to Confluence. But here are three of our top tips for creating documentation that is helpful specifically for the ITSM team.

1. Establish a Documentation Process

One of the most common reasons ITSM teams don’t have documentation is because it’s at the bottom of a never-ending list of priorities. ITSM teams are often busy resolving tickets and helping customers — activities that are more time-sensitive.

However, although documentation isn’t a short-term task that can be checked off like closing a ticket, it will ultimately have a positive long term effect by helping the team save time and effort, ensure consistency, and avoid issues down the road.

Establishing a process involves defining standards for creating, reviewing, and updating documentation. First, who are the knowledgeable members of your team who can take the time to record their knowledge to be shared? How will your team adapt to allow them to take the time to do it? Keep in mind that this initial time investment will save your team time in the long run.

Then, establish a consistent review period, and if something has not been reviewed in that time frame, it should be checked. Documentation isn’t just a one-time activity, it is an ongoing process that needs to continue. There should also be a system either for IT team members or customers to report outdated or inaccurate documentation.

Inaccurate documentation is just as bad as no documentation at all; having information that doesn’t fit the actual state of systems or applications causes more of the time-consuming issues that documentation should help you avoid.

2. Use Extensive Organization

Once you have established your process for creating, reviewing, and updating documentation, make it easier for your team to do all those things by keeping it organized. For example, if your organization goes through a major technological change, that may create significant process differences that require extensive documentation updates. You want to make it as easy as possible to make those updates.

If your documentation is organized effectively, it shouldn’t be difficult to find all the related material to make sure it all gets updated and avoid the potential issue of outdated documentation. Since technology is often changing and evolving, keeping documentation up to date is especially important for ITSM teams.

One example of a way to keep your IT documentation organized is through using labels in Confluence, which allows you to search by them. Since many ITSM teams use Jira Service Management to manage tickets, integrating it with Confluence to use and manage documentation is easy and effective. However, any system that allows you to filter and find the right information quickly and easily will do, so find the one that best meets your team’s needs.

Want to learn more about Confluence? >>

3. Visualize Key Processes

Humans are hardwired to process information visually. 90% of the messages sent to the brain are visual, and going from seeing to processing is only a matter of milliseconds. So sometimes, a picture is the most effective way to communicate a concept, especially when it’s complicated. Visuals make detailed processes and structures easy to understand at a glance and make gathering and interpreting information smoother.

It’s also much easier to communicate ideas to others through visuals. Regardless of if you’re explaining a concept to a technical team member or non-technical stakeholder, it will likely take much less time to describe with a visual than attempt to write it all out.

With this in mind, creating visuals for IT process documentation is the perfect way to make it an even more valuable resource for your team. For example, you can visualize IT processes through flowcharts like this one:

IT helpdesk flow diagram

You can choose from many more templates or create your own visuals from scratch when you document your ITSM processes with Gliffy.

For ITSM teams managing tickets and documentation in the Atlassian ecosystem, Gliffy is the perfect way to add visuals as a reference. You can create, update, and share diagrams directly in Confluence, and they automatically update everywhere you embed them within your Confluence space.

If you’re ready to add Confluence diagrams to your process documentation, make sure to start your free trial of Gliffy today — and check out Diagrams for IT Teams to learn more about the ways Gliffy can help take your team to the next level.


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