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This topic addresses written instructions or information that exist within a department and pertain to how we interact with internal and external partners or constituents. 

 This could include: 

  • Operations and Procedural Manuals
  • Written Policies
  • Internal FAQs 
  • How To articles
  • Contact Lists related to the services we provide (for instance, contact information for vendors, account managers, and other partners)
  • Contingency plans
  • Evaluations or survey results that could inform future operations

These types of items become especially valuable when there's a change in personnel, and someone new will be responsible for the operations for the sake of business continuity.  (Remember what it was like to be new?!)

SPU has several tools for departments to consider for creating and managing their documentation.  The main benefit offered by these tools is the ability for many (authorized) users to have access to the content.  This list includes:


Each of the above tools has a Service Catalog page; please review those for specific information about each tool.

Designed For

Anyone who has had to figure out how to do something is encouraged to jot down their process.  Those notes help jog the memory the next time the process must be put into motion, and provide valuable bread crumbs for anyone coming along later with the same objective.  This is encouraged of facultystaff, and even student workers!

Even outside the employment scenario there's opportunity to add value to a process by creating documentation.  For instance, student leaders who put on an event will benefit from documentation created by their predecessors doing the same thing the year before.

Sometimes there's an inclination to put documentation into "MyDocuments" or keep it in your email.  That's certainly better than no documentation, but to your colleague who comes along later to do that work, it's pretty similar to nothing.  So keep an eye out for places where your information is stored where you can get to it, but not one else can. 

Getting Started

The hardest part of documentation is getting started.  So start easy.  Jot down your process (in an email to yourself, or in Word, or OneNote, etc) so that your documentation is current as of the moment you were doing the process.  Talk to your peers to find out the good, bad, and ugly about their documentation process, and get input from a CIS Business Analyst if you are uncertain about how you want to proceed.  Once you've selected a tool, start filling in your documentation repository, using the notes you've already taken.  Once you've got a few processes documented, it feels less overwhelming to continue that good habit.  And you can jump right in and put new documentation there, because now you've got a place for it.

Once you've got some documentation in place, let your colleagues help you keep it updated.  Establish permissions appropriately so that lots of users can contribute to keeping your documentation as current as possible. 

Technical Support and Training

If you run into technical difficulty or have questions about the recommended tools mentioned above, please contact the CIS HelpDesk at or (206)281-2982.

Administration and Maintenance

CIS maintains all of the documentation tools mentioned, and provides backup of those items.



  • Anyone with institutional know-how


  • SPU login credentials, and appropriate permissions

Support & Training

Get Started

  • Start by writing down something. Then move that content to where your colleagues can benefit from it.