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Do you need help with operational efficiency? Perhaps you need some business improvements but don’t know where to start.
We’ll let you in on a secret: process documentation.
Process documentation acts as a blueprint for all your business operations. As complex as it can be to perform, you’ll find yourself better off once it’s done.
This page will give you everything you need to know to make your process documentation successful.
So let’s begin!
Process documentation is a guide that explains how a particular task should be performed. Think of it as a step-by-step manual of your company’s processes.
You can present this document in the form of a tutorial or even a flow chart. You could keep it as part of your business plan or in a company handbook. If you’re describing a process as part of training, you could even include it as an exercise for new hires.
Process documentation is essential for your business because:
It’s also useful to know that there are many software tools available to help you with process documentation.
And if your business could do with a little boost, our “Complete Guide to Business Process Management” will answer all your process management questions. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone struggling with creating and managing processes.
There are many types of process documentation and they vary across industries.
Below you’ll find some examples of process documentation divided according to industry. Remember to save all your process documentation in a central location to make them easy for all to find.
All the above documents can be relevant to many industries. So it’s worth documenting your processes to make them highly personalized to your business.
Is process documentation worth your while?
We’ve created a list of the 6 main benefits to convince you:
All these benefits will bring overall improvements, agility, and swift response time.
Here are some key steps you should follow to make your process documentation amazing:
Determine what your objectives are and what the purpose is. Ask yourself how process documentation will benefit you. Then analyze and identify the processes that need documenting and the resources you’ll need.
Pinpoint the starting point, the finish, and all the triggers of that process. Then, identify the results you want to achieve. You can use process flowcharts to make this more visually pleasing.
Decide who will be responsible for each of the process tasks. Define the roles of all of those involved in the process. Who are they and what will they be working on?
Identify places where exceptions are likely or where the process might need to change in the future. Make a note of these variations and how to address them.
Risks appear when a process doesn’t operate the way it should or if it can’t operate the way it should. When this happens, something’s gone wrong. Add control points to each process and monitor it frequently.
Lastly, review the process you’ve documented. Is there anything missing? Are there any problems? Once you’re happy with the answers, go ahead and test, test, test. You’ll want to do this several times to be sure everything’s in order. If you’ve missed anything, go back a few steps, then test again.
There are some common challenges with process documentation, and being aware of them will benefit you later.
If you fail to impose rules consistently, all of your systems are more vulnerable to errors and broken processes.
These problems can hurt your business, so it’s best to keep an eye on any inconsistencies and rectify them quickly.
Maintaining security is as challenging as it is crucial.
That said, managed documents are traceable and allow you to turn on auto-alerts. This is a handy feature because you’ll know exactly who accessed a document.
You could assign only those stakeholders who are required to view the folder. This will make the folder invisible to all other employees, preventing foul play.
Addressing and defining your scope allows you to focus on the “why” behind every decision.
When developing your strategy, ask yourself:
Difficulty understanding and maintaining the process
At first, many employees may struggle to understand how to maintain your processes.
This is why providing relevant ongoing training opportunities is vital.
You’ll want all those responsible for a given process to be confident in maintaining them.
Since you know how to document your processes and what the benefits and challenges are, let’s talk about best practices.
We’ve devised a list of the best ways to successfully design and maintain process documentation. Here you go:
Process documentation is all about making your processes more efficient. This will cut costs, eliminate business risks, and save time.
There are a few steps and best practices that you should follow to make this as smooth as possible. This will eliminate common challenges such as inconsistencies and unauthorized access.
Don’t forget that all this doesn’t have to be done manually. You can take advantage of tools to guide you through the process.
The bottom line is process documentation is a vital component of any business. So incorporate it into yours, and start reaping the benefits now.