Blockchain process documentation is a decentralized and distributed ledger technology that allows multiple parties to maintain a shared database of information and transactions in a secure and transparent manner. To ensure effective implementation and management of blockchain processes, it is essential to have clear and well-documented procedures. Hiring a technical writer is the best approach when looking to produce thorough documentation.
What is Blockchain?
To begin, Blockchain is a digital database shared between networks that stores information in groups, or blocks, which are permanently linked together. Unlike a traditional database, a blockchain stores its information using a cryptographic protocol in virtual blocks that have a limit on their capacity. When a block is full, a new block generates and links to the former block, which locks. Moreover, when written information is in a block, it immediately timestamps. This is extremely useful for security and transparency.
Blockchain process documentation is the technical document with which blockchain can be efficiently and effectively integrated into your business.
Often when people think of blockchain, they think of cryptocurrency. With its automatic time and date stamp, a Blockchain is a useful form of recording the activity of a cryptocurrency. They can even track the currency when misappropriated. However, in this article, we will focus on other uses of blockchain.
What Are Other Uses of Blockchain?
Blockchain process documentation also assists with the process of:
- Legal documents
- Helping people vote securely
- Tracking and tracing products in the supply chain
First, attorneys use blockchain technology with scripted text, smart contracts, and automated contract management. They digitally sign and unalterably store contracts.
Additionally, Alaska could be the first state to use blockchain technology to help people vote in their elections, should a recent proposal pass.
What About Blockchain for the Supply Chain?
In the same vein, supply chains use blockchain process documentation. In supply chains, it is important to know where your product is now, has been, and when it will arrive at its destination. Using blockchain process documentation to track products is a clear solution to this problem, especially when combined with radio frequency identification tags (RFID) or the Internet of Things.
RFID tags generate data about where a product is, whether scanned, placed on a shelf, or sold. According to IBM, the Internet of Things is “the concept of connecting any device (so long as it has an on/off switch) to the Internet and to other connected devices […] all of which collect and share data about the way they are used and about the environment around them.”
For example, whether they use RFID tags or the Internet of Things, supply chain managers can use the blockchain to trace products. Both methods record the time a product is in each place it is. Amazon Web Services has just one of the track and trace programs that many companies use. This is useful for normal operations, customer service, and emergencies like product recall.
Recent Blockchain Procedure
Do you remember the recent romaine lettuce recall? For any affected brands, producers needed to know where the lettuce came from, and which stores it went to. Walmart did not need to worry about this since they deployed blockchain back in 2018. Hence, they were able to track the origin of all their lettuce easily through the blockchain. They removed any affected romaine from the shelves immediately. They told the public the affected lot numbers that sold.
In addition to tracing recalled food, blockchain keeps compliance records. Moreover, the immutable inventory records keep away wasteful products. Counterfeit products avoided the supply chain. This verifying ethical supply chain method practices traced organic food from the source to its retailer. At any of these points in the blockchain process, your company may want to use a technical writer to compile and clarify the data.
Another company that uses blockchain technology well is De Beers. Their Tracr program assures the provenance, traceability, and authenticity of their diamonds.
Furthermore, one of the best parts of blockchain process documentation in the supply chain is that it facilitates more rapid and cost-effective delivery. UPS and FedEx are just two of the companies using it in this manner. Blockchain is how you can track your package from the moment you ordered it, through every point of its journey, to its arrival on your doorstep.
What to Include in Blockchain Process Documentation
If you are thinking of deploying blockchain process documentation, here is an outline of the key elements to include:
- Provide an overview of the blockchain technology being used and its purpose.
- Define the scope of the blockchain process documentation and identify the stakeholders involved.
- Process Overview:
- Describe the high-level workflow of the blockchain process, including its inputs, outputs, and major steps.
- Explain the role of each participant in the process, such as users, miners, validators, or nodes.
- Process Flowchart:
- Create a visual representation of the process flow, illustrating the sequence of steps and decision points.
- Clearly define the conditions or criteria for transitioning from one step to another.
- Process Steps:
- Break down the process into detailed steps, providing a clear and concise description of each action.
- Specify any prerequisites, dependencies, or specific conditions for each step.
- Identify the data or information exchanged at each step and the required format or structure.
- Roles and Responsibilities:
- List the key roles involved in the blockchain process and define their responsibilities.
- Specify the access rights and permissions associated with each role.
- Clearly define the communication and coordination channels between different roles.
- Data Structures and Formats:
- Document the data structures used within the blockchain, including transaction formats, blocks, headers, and any additional metadata.
- Specify the required data fields, their format, and any constraints or validation rules.
- Consensus Mechanism:
- Explain the consensus mechanism employed by the blockchain network, such as proof-of-work (PoW) or proof-of-stake (PoS).
- Describe the process of block creation, validation, and confirmation.
- Security Considerations:
- Document the security measures implemented to protect the blockchain process, such as encryption, digital signatures, or access controls.
- Outline the steps for handling security incidents or breaches.
- Error Handling and Exception Management:
- Define the possible errors, exceptions, or failure scenarios that can occur during the blockchain process.
- Describe the actions or processes to address these issues, such as error codes, logging, or fallback mechanisms.
- Performance Metrics and Monitoring:
- Specify the key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the blockchain process.
- Describe the monitoring tools, techniques, or platforms used to track and analyze the blockchain network’s performance.
- Maintenance and Upgrades:
- Outline the procedures for maintaining the blockchain network, including regular updates, bug fixes, or system enhancements.
- Document the version control and change management processes to ensure smooth transitions and minimize disruptions.
- Compliance and Regulations:
- Address any legal or regulatory requirements applicable to the blockchain process.
- Document the procedures for ensuring compliance with data privacy, anti-money laundering (AML), or other relevant regulations.
- Glossary and Terminology:
- Compile a glossary of key terms, abbreviations, and acronyms used within the blockchain process documentation.
- Ensure consistent and clear understanding of the terminology across all stakeholders.
Remember, blockchain process documentation should be regularly reviewed, updated, and communicated to all relevant parties to maintain accuracy and alignment with the evolving needs of the blockchain network.
Can I Implement Blockchain Process Documentation?
After reading this, you may be thinking of incorporating blockchain process documentation in your business. If so, you will need training materials for your staff, most importantly, blockchain process documentation. While implementing blockchain, you may wish to have someone document the processes you use. Essential Data Corporation can connect you to someone experienced in process documentation. Your IT staff may not stay with you forever, so you may wish to develop a knowledge transfer plan so that future staff is not left floundering while trying to use your blockchain.
How EDC Can Help
Finally, whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or email@example.com
Written by Heidi Ripplinger