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  • 1.  IT Documentation

    Posted 21 days ago


    One of my goals this year is to document the IT infrastructure and processes here at my school. This will include network mapping, license and lifecycle, security, best practices, vendor list, edtech platforms, etc. Nothing like this existed when I came here in 2017 and I haven't compiled something like this since I have been here. Does anyone have any resources for schools that would help in this area? I am using the ATLIS 360 Companion Manual as a starting point. I would love to get some creative ideas of new or familiar platforms that assist in this type of project. Early responses have included shared Google Drive, Sheets, Lucid Chart, and ITGlue. Anyone know of a one platform solution that compiles all of this information while guiding an IT professional through the process?




    Mike Taverna
    Mount Tamalpais School
    Mill Valley CA

  • 2.  RE: IT Documentation

    Posted 20 days ago

    Hi @Mike Taverna - We are in a similar spot and in search of a solution.  I'm currently evaluating Learn21 TDT Asset for tracking our assets and assignment to users.  Beyond that, we have a range of spreadsheets (mostly Google Sheets) and a few Google Draw diagrams of our network.  I would be interested in a better solution, but tools like ITGlue seem a bit price-prohibitive.

    Thank you,

    Brent Halsey
    Director of Technology
    Columbus Academy

  • 3.  RE: IT Documentation

    Posted 20 days ago

    @Mike Taverna - I am popping my direct email reply to you here for the community to see as well.

    Documentation is the marathon we all have to run and one that I have taken a number of different stabs at over the years. We have finally fallen onto something that I think has worked. To be precise it is an ongoing project and never indeed done.
    1. Data Mapping - "A picture paints a thousand words." We have taken to using a program called LucidChzart (web-based) to help map out our processes and system. This is for both network and data systems, as well as process workflows for various tasks - onboarding.
    I spent the summer working with the Center for Institution Research in Independent Schools (CIRIS) on a guide for schools on institutional research and we have an entire section on mapping. It will give you a decent frame for it - https://ciris.maret.org/ciris-resources/community-resources/ciris-guide.
    2. Google Shared Drives - We have been leveraging these in conjunction with ITGlue - below - as a means of sharing, saving, and organizing important material in a space where the institution owns the data and it is secured and organized. The shared drive allows the information to be referenced in multiple spaces and available to a defined audience.
    3. ITGlue - We started looking for a password management system and fell into ITGlue for that AND documentation. It is a system used by managed service providers so that they can catalog all of the relevant information for the clients, we just flipped it and use it for us and to manage our vendors - https://www.itglue.com/. I would recommend giving them a look as they are at the track we are running this marathon on.

    William Stites
    Montclair Kimberley Academy
    Montclair NJ

  • 4.  RE: IT Documentation

    Posted 20 days ago

    @Mike Taverna Creating comprehensive documentation for your school's IT infrastructure and processes is a crucial initiative, and it's great that you're looking for efficient and effective tools to help with this project. While there isn't a single platform that can do everything you mentioned, you can integrate multiple tools to achieve your goal. Here are some suggestions and resources to help you get started:

    1. Documentation and Collaboration Tools:
       - Microsoft OneNote: OneNote is a great tool for organizing and collaborating on documentation. You can create notebooks for various aspects of your IT infrastructure.
       - Confluence:  This tool by Atlassian is designed for team collaboration and documentation, making it suitable for documenting IT processes.
       - Notion:  Notion offers flexibility and can be customized to your needs. It's excellent for creating wikis and knowledge bases.

    2. Network Mapping: 
       - Draw.io (now part of Diagrams.net):  It's a versatile, web-based diagramming tool suitable for network mapping.

    3. License and Lifecycle Management: 
       - Spiceworks:  Spiceworks provides free IT asset management software for tracking licenses, hardware, and more.
       - Snipe-IT:  An open-source asset management system for managing licenses and hardware lifecycles.

    4. Security Documentation: 
       - NIST Cybersecurity Framework:  NIST provides a comprehensive framework for cybersecurity documentation.
       - ISACA and (ISC)²: These organizations offer various resources related to IT security best practices.

    5. Vendor List: 
       - You can use a shared document in Google Drive, OneDrive, or any other collaboration tool for maintaining a vendor list.

    6. EdTech Platforms: 
       - Create a dedicated section in your documentation for EdTech platforms, including information about licenses, integrations, and best practices.

    7. Best Practices: 
       - You can integrate best practices into the relevant sections of your documentation.

    8. IT Documentation Platforms: 
       - IT Glue:  As you mentioned, IT Glue is designed specifically for IT documentation.
       - Docusnap:  It's another IT documentation platform designed to help with asset and network documentation.

    9. Templates and Examples: 
       - Look for templates and examples for IT documentation. Many IT professionals and organizations share their templates online. ATLIS is a great resource, but you can also find community-contributed templates on platforms like GitHub.

    10. Training and Certification:  Consider investing in ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) training or certification, which can provide valuable guidance on IT service management and documentation.

    11. Consult with Colleagues:  Collaborate with your IT team and colleagues for input on what information is most critical to document.

    12. Data Classification:  Consider classifying the data you're documenting based on sensitivity levels to ensure appropriate security measures are in place.

    Remember that documentation is an ongoing process, so make sure to update it regularly as your IT infrastructure evolves. Also, consider creating a document maintenance plan and ensuring that multiple team members have access to and can update the documentation to avoid a single point of failure.

    By combining these resources and tools, you can create a comprehensive IT documentation system that helps you maintain and improve your school's IT infrastructure and processes.

    Shiva Gholami