Super Users in Action: Documentation

by Laila Stancioff, Published in BPTrends on 2019

As we saw in the previous article [1], the Super User role has different dimensions:

  • Knowledge Management
  • Internal documentation
  • Training
  • Channel and filter for improvements

In this article we will talk about maintaining Internal Documentation, which usually is not the most fun task to do. But if basically anyone with the knowledge and patience can do it, why should it be done by the Super User?

There are two main reasons why the Super User should be the one responsible for updating the department’s internal documentation:

  • As we defined before [2], the Super User is the department’s process and knowledge specialist [3], with the mission of putting the processes in service of the team. To really have processes serving the people – and not people caught up in non-efficient processes – it is fundamental to assure that people both understand the process they are performing and develop a process-oriented thinking. The way the content is delivered, for example on onboard training, highly influences the way people will look at their work and cooperate with other departments.
  • The Super User needs tools to deliver to the people all knowledge and information about the processes in a way that people will want to use it and will find it easy.


Things that the Super User should bear in mind when developing training documentation:

  • Develop one main document that links to all the rest: even if you need to have multiple documents due to different types of information, having a main one that gives the structure makes it easier for you to maintain the information updated and for the newcomer to find what he/she needs. I usually call this document the “Survival Guide”, since it helps the new employee to “survive” on the first weeks on the new job.
  • Use the “Survival Guide” to develop “process thinking”: provide an overview of the macro-process or process(es) where the person executing this work is inserted. This overview can be a simple diagram of the main steps with colours indicating the responsibilities. If the process is too complex, a view of the process in this employee’s perspective can also be included, with more detail only in the tasks he/she executes.
  • Use the process itself as a “table of contents”: if you use the process steps as the chapters of your document/training, the newcomer gets used already from the first week to how the process looks like.
  • Refer to any global standard procedure the company may have: Do not duplicate in the training materials content that is already described in the Global documents. Instead, make reference to them. Provide links to all Global procedures written and approved by the Business Process Office that are relevant to your team.
  • Link to everyday work: provide links to any data base or document used in everyday work, and that contains records or operational information that should be maintained. By doing this, you don’t need to maintain in the training documentation itself information that may change frequently – you refer to where this information is already kept.


Last, but not least, the Super User should use the “Survival Guide” from the first day a new employee starts in the company. Instead of printing a series of procedures and producing many presentations in powerpoint, the trainer should use the “Survival Guide” as much as possible. With this, the new employee gets familiarized with its structure and will get used to refer to it whenever he/she needs some information. This avoids a series of things [4]:

  • Avoids giving too much information at once and with little context: frequently the Global procedures, especially if they describe a macro-process, are too complex for a newcomer, and need to be put into context. The “Survival Guide” gives a clear reference to which procedures are related to each specific activity, as well as a short explanation of what should be taken into account and in which situation to consider this or that document.
  • Avoids limiting the training to only a few procedures: especially in the departments with many procedures, there is the tendency of choosing only some of them for “mandatory reading”, with the risk that people will ignore all the others. By providing reference to all these procedures, the “Survival Guide” helps people to at least know they are available when needed.
  • Avoids duplicating information: when training is given with a lot of support material, people’s tendency is to print them and make their own notes, and then refer to them instead of the sta This limits the person’s depth in knowledge as well as the certainty that the information is updated, for personal notes are not as complete as the original procedures, and are not kept up to date. Only the Official documents have the most updated information. If, however, the person is trained with a “Survival Guide” which is constantly updated by he Super User and where everything is written, there will be less duplicated and obsolete information around.



[2] Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M. The Super User Role: An Extended Concept, 2018,

[3] Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M., Kuzņecova, O. The Role of the Super User in Achieving Business Process Management Maturity. Information Technology and Management Science. December 2017, vol. 20, pp. 74–78. ©2017.

[4] Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M. The Super User role as a tool to progress in
maturity in Business Process Management–a study case of Cabot Latvia. Master thesis, University of Latvia, 2017.

Laila Stancioff, Process-U Executive Director

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