Table of contents
When you think about documentation, how do you feel? Energized? Excited to create it? Chances are, probably not (minus a few exceptional people!). Many people see documentation as a slog, a necessary but time-consuming task that keeps them from the “real work.” While documentation might seem tedious, it’s actually one of the most important tasks for long-term company success.
Documentation provides new and seasoned team members with a living record of the business’s ideas, processes, systems, team structures, and more. By centralizing this information for anyone to access, companies greatly improve efficiency and speed to market because teams have the critical context they need to make informed decisions and do exceptional work quickly and confidently.
Dive deeper into the value of living documentation, and see our best practices to make it effortless and efficient.Download our e-book
The reward is great, and thankfully, living documentation is easier to create than you think. The key is visual collaboration.
When teams collaborate visually, such as brainstorming ideas on a virtual whiteboard, mapping out workflows, and forming Scrum teams using org charts, they are naturally documenting ideas, pivotal information, and ways to improve. By doing all of this recording in real time, you will help everyone stay aligned and bring new solutions forward faster.
To get you started with collaborating visually and documenting as you go, we’ve compiled a toolkit of templates for common use cases. Click any template to open in Lucidchart or Lucidspark.
Templates for documenting processes
Want to keep projects moving and teams agile? Document processes to identify pain points and areas of opportunity while showing stakeholders the big picture of what work has already been done.
Use swimlanes in the flowchart to see steps and areas of responsibility. As you continue with an initiative, add to the template in real time to optimize the process for business efficiency. Try it now.
Use the basic flowchart template in Lucidchart to visualize or map out a process. Use shapes and colors to see different areas of responsibility across cross-functional teams.
The process map template in Lucidspark is critical for everyone to see the big picture of project objectives and needed outcomes. Simply outline objectives, activities, and deliverables to keep everyone involved up to speed.
Current vs. future state flowchart
Continuous improvement is what makes a company stand out from the rest. Document your current vs. future state to visualize how a process, project, or product can be more efficient and articulate recommended changes to those involved.
Improve a process
Make the most of process improvement by using both Lucidchart and Lucidspark. Flesh out this template by importing a Lucidchart document, identifying problem areas, and brainstorming solutions so all team members can see how a process has evolved over time.
Templates for documenting team structure
Organizations will always have team members coming in and out of the company—or even just changing teams. But gone are the days when people could skip over to another desk to find out who is working on what project. By documenting org and team structures, distributed teams will feel empowered to ask questions to the right people and make better decisions quickly.
Fill out this template in Lucidchart to keep an up-to-date record of team responsibilities in a centralized location for new and seasoned team members to access. Now, everyone can see who is working on what and see the history of how responsibilities have evolved.
Basic org chart
Use the basic org chart template in Lucidchart to visualize and organize your team structure. Easily move around different team members or overall teams to manage departments and see where future roles are most needed.
Org chart (name, role, department, photo)
Is this the co-worker you’re looking for? Document your org structure using this template in Lucidchart and provide additional information about each employee to create an invaluable resource for the whole company.
Org chart by cross-functional teams
More often than not, you will need to pull together team members with different roles in order to achieve your business goal. This org chart template uses Group View to reorganize team members into groups by cross-functional team.
Templates for documenting organizational direction
What is a key element that separates average companies from outstanding ones? How bought in the employees are to an organization’s vision. When teams see the difference their work makes and are able to ladder up their OKRs to larger company goals, they consistently bring their A-game to all projects.
Organizational vision alignment
Often, vision and mission statements can be clearer and more impactful with imagery, and this Lucidspark template makes that possible. Creating a single source of truth to document your organization’s big-picture goals will help your teams move quickly and understand where their role comes into play.
Use this template in Lucidspark to establish your team’s purpose and define the ways you’ll work together, such as ground rules and communication norms.
Team vision alignment
Data shows that when team members are bought into a vision, their productivity and excitement for their work skyrockets. Fill out this template in Lucidspark with your team members to creatively visualize what matters most to the team and organization.
The mission alignment template helps you figure out what drives your team. Document the brainstorm with your team and craft your mission statement. When the statement is complete, share it out with the larger team to better align.
Templates for documenting product planning
By recording decisions as a project progresses, documentation will come naturally, and you will have a log of what work has been done on a project so far. This helps all teams involved understand the project priorities and desired outcomes.
Product roadmap for teams
During product planning, collaborate on your product roadmap using this template in Lucidspark. Align team members on the work necessary to ensure successful feature releases.
User research and journey mapping
Synthesize the data from user research to create a better customer experience. By documenting and organizing information in this template, team members can create more impactful projects to deliver value.
5 E’s customer journey
Answer the five questions in the 5 E’s customer journey Lucidspark template to see how you solve customer needs. Record the customer journey map to help teams improve and analyze critical peaks, valleys, and overall touchpoints when working with customers.
Make documentation work for you
By integrating a solution like the Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite into your tech stack, you and your team can collaborate visually and create a living blueprint of your business. Align teams across the business and document your entire workflow, start to finish, with our purpose-built products—Lucidchart and Lucidspark—and advanced capabilities with Visual Activities, Team Spaces, and Collaborative AI.
Using Lucid’s universal canvas, you can make any of these templates and all of your documentation work harder for you. Universal canvas means you can start a board in Lucidspark for note-taking, brainstorming, and ideating, and then seamlessly switch to Lucidchart and turn your document into a visual diagram. You can do all of this without switching documents.
Overall, Lucid’s advanced capabilities allow teams to create intelligent documentation effortlessly.
Learn more about how Lucid can help make documentation effortless.Get in touch
Lucid Software is a pioneer and leader in visual collaboration dedicated to helping teams build the future. With its products—Lucidchart, Lucidspark, and Lucidscale—teams are supported from ideation to execution and are empowered to align around a shared vision, clarify complexity, and collaborate visually, no matter where they are. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucid.co.
4 reasons modern organizations need internal documentation
The purpose of internal documentation is to centralize an organization’s ideas and information and make them accessible throughout the organization.
Turning collaborative activities into documentation
Here's how to convert the important collaborative work your team is doing on a daily basis into valuable, visual documentation you can reference forever.
Innovation repositories: Shrinking the gap between doing the work and documenting the work
It’s clear that companies and leaders feel they aren’t doing enough innovation. In this article, we will explore why you need an innovation repository and how to create one.
Agile Manifesto co-author James Grenning on the importance of documentation
In this interview, Agile Manifesto co-author James Grenning discusses how modern-day Agile teams can strike the right balance on documentation to work efficiently.