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Exchange vzw:“Professional documentation is a must.”

Certain questions pop up very frequently in organizations and companies: how can our current documentation evolve along with our ideas? How can we optimize and professionalize our documentation? How can we gather our existing information and remodel it to a well-organized and efficient unity?

As Exchange vzw turned more professional, they felt the indispensable need to search for suitable solutions to these questions. Flow offered the solution.

Exchange is an association without lucrative purpose that wants to create more prosperity and welfare in development countries through sustainable and inclusive growth. This organization focuses on private sector input given the fact that local entrepreneurs stimulate local growth and employment. To take the next step in their development, they are in need of adequate expertise, which isn’t easy to find.

Exchange offers the private partners -and organizations linked to them- the opportunity to rely on an extended team of voluntary -and for the private sector practically free of charge, top experts. As a result, local economies are boosted and new opportunities arise for those in search of a job.

Raising the bar

Recently it became a key issue for Exchange to have uniform and structured documentation. “We want to generate growth but -most importantly- work in a more structured, professional manner”, Eline Ghysels, project coordinator at Exchange, states. “Since we work with a large number of volunteers, we create new function and task descriptions to enthuse interested people and, above all, to let them partake in a more professional way.” Yet we soon noticed that it wasn’t easy for our volunteers and internal employees to keep track of the entangled pieces of documentation. That way it became difficult to correctly apply our internal regulations.”

“The documentation of Exchange rarely contained a fixed structure, uniform layout or recurring information. We used documentation that sometimes was a couple of years old. We noticed that a lot of information overlapped between different documents, or that, on the contrary, not enough information was being stored. In short: our documentation did not tally with the image that we wanted to emit. Starting from this objective, we got in touch with Flow” Ghysels recounts.

The Flow-method

Flow proceeded by putting to practice the approved method of thorough screening and analysis, to continue with extended commentaries on the flaws and strongholds of the received documents. Next, we presented a roadmap to (re)structure, model and compact Exchange’s knowledge.

“It’s a real eye-opener to see how an external, professional vision has helped advance our documentation.”

Based on this screening, a uniform template was put to use. In this brand new template, we implemented several different Word-styles that were exclusively created for Exchange. Moreover, by integrating Exchange’s house style, the documentation got straight away its very own image.

A successful marriage

After working on the exterior, Flow took to task the interior of the renewed documentation. By applying the principles of structured writing, we could effectively articulate the content of Exchange’s documentation. As a consequence, the documentation of Exchange turned into a clear, easy to read and more coherent whole. In the new documentation, you are indeed able to see the forest for the trees.

In a nutshell: a successful marriage? “It’s a real eye-opener to see how an external, professional vision has helped advance our documentation”, Ghysels mentions pleased. “Thanks to Flow stepping in, we cannot only improve our documentation for external partners, yet also for our co-workers.”