Why Document Processes and Procedures?
There are many reasons why you might not want to include document processes in the running of your business. You might consider you haven’t got enough time to get everything down on paper, or your small number of staff wear several different hats so it’s not really necessary.
A certain lack of understanding also holds many business owners back from introducing process documentation. In this article we’re going to convince you of the benefits and from then on there’ll be no turning back.
What is Process Documentation?
Process documentation is a detailed description of how to execute a process. A business process can take many forms. Basically, they are a series of repeatable steps you need to take in order to achieve a business goal. They are the backbone of any business and documents such as checklists, procedures, policies, forms, tutorials, and links to other applications all help to support the business process.
The aim of documenting processes is to improve the performance of your business by refining the core processes and removing any bottlenecks.
Why Document Processes? Benefits to Business
It doesn’t matter how big your business is. The benefits apply to one-man bands, business partnerships, and large business corporations. The purpose of your business also makes no difference. The following benefits apply across the board.
Improves Your Business Processes
It’s very likely that getting the work done involves a number of repeatable processes. Many of them you won’t actually think about and you’ll be relying on guesswork or memory in order to perform them. With this mindset, your business is not going to improve because you’re not sure about the processes taking place, the steps in each process, the role your employees play in the process cycle and how the process impacts on the bottom line.
Process documentation provides an overview of the process, allowing you to work out new tactics and strategies, thereby increasing efficiency.
Can be Used for Training
When you document your business processes, they can play a fundamental role when you train new employees. They’ll be able to get up to speed with their roles very quickly. When there’s no need for managers to carefully explain processes it saves a significant amount of time.
Well-documented processes also give you a the benefit of ensuring everyone will be doing everything correctly, every time.
If you use freelance or remote workers in your organisation defining processes makes it easier to bring them onboard.
If you document processes, there can be no ambiguity with regards to roles and responsibilities. A well-documented process will clearly state all tasks required for the process to be completed. It lays down individual responsibilities and roles, together with the person assigned to complete the task.
Finally, it provides the steps needed to perform the task. When you lay all this down, it reduces a lot of confusion and helps stop mistakes.
Helps to Preserve Key Knowledge
If you lay out every step in a document, everyone in a team knows what they are required to do in order for the process to be carried out. Should a crucial employee be hit by a bus or have to leave, there’s no risk of them taking their process business knowledge with them.
Making everyone within your business replaceable.
Makes Analysis and Comparison Easier
A key part of running a business is to analyse and compare processes. Only with analysis and comparison can you calculate efficiency, reduce costs and analyse other vital metrics. Document processes you have a great tool to help you expand and scale the business.
Management are able to see whether they are achieving the desired results or if they should try a different angle. Enabling business process improvement and identifying weak processes and fine-tuning.
Process Documentation Equals More Efficient Business
A certain amount of work is required when documenting processes and procedures, however, rest assured it is time and effort well spent.
Process document outline the steps necessary to complete a procedure, task or process. The end result will be a more efficient business in which everyone knows their role and responsibilities and increased productivity.
When the Lean methodology was born out of the Toyota Production System, back in the mid-20th century, a principle aim was waste