Your company has been documenting your processes with FlowShare for some time now – hooray! But, are you ensuring that your Flows are reaching their full potential by being easily accessible for users?
Successful and diligent process documentation is only one side of the coin of successful knowledge management within companies. After extracting the process know-how from the heads of individual users, it is crucial to allow colleagues access the information. The documentation needs to be stored somewhere where users can easily find and access it.
And if you have ever wondered: “Where do I put all my Flows now???”, this post is just right for you. In this article we are going to cover three different ways of storing your FlowShare guides so that everyone benefits from the know-how.
1. Store your files in shared folders and make them easily accessible
If your company does not use a document management system or company wiki, you are probably storing your FlowShare guides locally on your computer or in a shared folder. If done correctly, this is a very simple yet effective way of organizing your documentation.
(When you document your processes with FlowShare there are at least 2 types of files you create: the source .flow files for easy updates and the final export documents that you share with your team. You can separate the .flow file from the final export or keep them at the same place – depending on the system you use to store your flows.)
Here are some tips on how to structure your output files for optimal overview and accessibility:
Use shared folders in your intranet or Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive to distribute your guides.
Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive are essentially like folder systems only in the cloud, you can upload your guides to make them available to colleagues from anywhere.
Store all your .flow files in one place for easy access:
If you have several team members creating files – store all your .flow files in one single shared folder so every creator can access them. Whenever a process needs to be updated, you can find it in your .flow folder library. Open it from the folder, make the changes, save the .flow file and re-export the final document into the folder with the export docs.
While it is easy for updates to keep all the .flow files in one folder, you might want to store your final documentations in a different manner.
Sort your exported documents by folder.
This does not have to be overly sophisticated but could mean that you simply sort folders by project, conceptually (e.g. grouping together sales orders or invoices), or by software (e.g. putting all instructions for Word in one and for Excel in another folder). It might also make sense to sort files in chronological orders, for instance when it comes to onboarding processes. Most importantly, there should always be an intuitive structure so users can find what they are looking for with ease. Make sure to keep all related folders together under one category folder rather than across different locations where they are hard to find!
Give your files telling names.
When you save a .flow-file, the default name will be the title of your .flow-project if you have defined one. Describe the tasks that your process covers and put it in the name. You can also add the name of the Application to your file name to make it easier to find. Chose a descriptive name for your process, for example “How to “do X” in “application Z”” Or “Doing X” in “Application Z”
Pro-Tip: Include the date in the file name
The name of the file should help indicate what the process is about, plus you can add the date to make it visible when the process has been documented. For example, if a particular document was created on January 15th 2020 then its filename might be ‘2020-01-15’ or “2020115”. Start with the year, then month, then day – so you can easily sort by filename and have the guides in the right order. for example: “20220501-How to create an invoice in MS Dynamics”
That way you can easily spot processes that haven’t been updated in a while just by looking at the name.
Do you have other experiences and best practices you use when storing your .flows locally? We would love to hear them!
2. FlowShare Wiki: Starting from scratch and struggling to keep track of all your company’s processes and procedures?
We created FlowShare Wiki to help with just that. We built a WordPress based wiki system that is specifically adapted for the needs of FlowShare customers and built to integrate with all the guides you create with FlowShare, making them easy to publish and easily accessible for your entire team.
Categories make it easy for you to find the guide you need, when you need it.
Plus, we provide easy ways to give feedback and update your flows – you can download them directly from your Wiki account, open them in FlowShare, do the changes you need and re-upload them. They will automatically replace the old guide.
FlowShare Wiki is the perfect solution for teams who need to manage and share information efficiently.
Stop wasting time trying to remember where you put that process document – get organized! With our wiki system, everything is at your fingertips in an easily searchable format. Keep your team on track with up-to-date information that is always accessible.
Sounds interesting? Check out at getflowshare.com/wiki and get yours set up within the next few weeks.
3. Integrate your guides into an existing knowledge management system or document management system.
FlowShare gives you the option to export your guides into various formats, making it easily compatible with many knowledge management systems. If your company is already using such a solution, then there might be no need to come up with an additional system for FlowShare.
The following tools are used by some of our customers and have proven to be easily compatible with FlowShare:
Microsoft’s tool for creating internal sites allows you to store, structure and share all sorts of information within a company. Many of our customers use SharePoint to make Flows accessible to their colleagues.
As a business process management (BPM) software based on SharePoint, Quam is another suitable tool for sharing your Flows. Simply upload your guide as a supporting document to a given process.
You can easily attached your FlowShare guides to your pages in Confluence. Simply export your Flow in PDF or Word format and upload!
To upload a guide in Notion, proceed as with any other file. Simply create a file block inside your document or use the drag and drop function. Alternatively you can upload your Flow directly to a database via the Files & Media property.
Guru is a great knowledge management solution for teams to share and distribute their knowledge and fits into your workflow.
With the power of AI and a huge list of integrations into the tools you’re already using, Guru delivers verified knowledge directly to your team without them having to search for it. That means your best and brightest can spend more time building and less time answering questions or searching for information.
ClickUp is currently one of the highest rated project management tools on the market. It brings all of your projects into one single app and is built for teams of all sizes and industries. While it may not replace a knowledge management solution, some FlowShare clients love the Docs feature in Clickup and integrate FlowShare guides through the HTML Export.
|Some of our customers directly integrate their FlowShare exports into their ERP system. This might be another option if you wish to keep your software systems to a minimum.|
There may be many other systems out there that we haven’t heard of before but would love to take a closer look at to make it even easier to integrate all your FlowShare processes into the tools you use and love.
What system are you using to share your Flows? Let us know and we’ll be happy to add it to the list!
And if you have any questions about the tools we mention here and how to integrate your FlowShare guides into them, reach out to us at email@example.com.