Process Descriptions are the keystone of efficient and quality process automation. Wrong or inadequate process descriptions can increase development time up to 100% and even more. This guide describes how to make the needed documentation for process automation. It is important to:
- Describe the purpose of the process.
- Describe the process steps.
- Outline access information for the machine, applications, etc.
Various tools can be used to make a process description. It is essential to describe all process steps as detailed as possible, just as you’ll explain it to a new employee. Screenshots and field mapping are necessary. Furthermore, it is crucial to outline all possible scenarios, for example, if errors occur.
Jing by TechSmith is a free screenshot and video recording tool that we recommend to everyone who does not already have such a tool. Go to this website to download the application that will enable you to take screenshots and make video recordings of your processes. Creating a screen recording video with audio explaining the process is the optimal way of making a process description. You can find comprehensive guides on how to use Jing and make recordings here.
Steps Recorder is a combination keylogger, screen capture, and annotation tool available in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. It's used to quickly and easily document actions made on a computer. Without Steps Recorder, a user would have to manually write out what he/she is doing and take screenshots of every single window they see. However, with Steps Recorder, all of this is done automatically while the user is on his/her computer.
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To access the Steps Recorder, simply search for "psr" on your Windows machine. the Steps Recorder is available from the Start menu in Windows 10 and the Apps Screen in Windows 8. In Windows 7, the Problem Steps Recorder, the tool's official name in that version of Windows, can be accessed most easily by using the Start menu.
Steps Recorder creates a screenshot of each action, describes each action in your system language, notes the exact date and time the action took place, and even allows the recorder to add comments at any time during the recording. The names, locations, and versions of all programs accessed during the recording are also included. Click to make a new recording and simply perform the steps. The following shows an example of a flow:
If you need to pause the recording for some reason, tap or click the Pause Record button. Press Resume Record to restart the recording.
During a recording, you can also press the Add Comment button to highlight a section of your screen and manually add a comment. This is really useful if you'd like to point out something specific that's occurring on the screen.
Click or tap the Stop Record button in Steps Recorder to stop recording your actions. You can then save your records.
- Before you start the recording, think about the process involved in producing whatever issue you're trying to demonstrate. Close any open windows other than Steps Recorder. Steps Recorder will make screenshots of what's on your computer screen and include those in the recording you save. Unrelated open programs in the screenshots could be distracting.
- In Settings you can change the following:
- Output location. If you don't want to be prompted for a location and file name every time you save a file, select Browse to set a default location and file name.
- Enable screen capture. Select No if you don't want to capture screenshots — for example, if the screen might reveal personal information that you don’t want to share. The app will still record a text description of your steps.
- The default value is 25 screens, so if you need to record more than that, increase this number before you start recording: