Can Your Process Documentation Become Less of a Burden

Posted by Kevin D'Arcy on May 27, 2016 11:00:00 AM

45607904_s.jpgYour business has routine tasks that must be completed daily, weekly monthly and quarterly. In order to ensure that these tasks are completed with maximum efficiency and reliability, you must put business processes in place. In order to effectively replicate and improve upon a business process, you have to document it. Process documentation, however, can be a rigorous, time consuming process that can seem like it just isn’t worth your time.

Fortunately, process documentation doesn’t have to have such a negative impact on you and your employees. It is possible to make process documentation less of a burden. Here is how:

Define your process

If your employees aren’t sure what they should be doing, then your documentation process will quickly cause chaos. Identify what the goals of your processes are and what elements of them should be documented. This will give your employees a clear path to follow once the documentation is complete.

Organize your approach

If you approach your process documentation efforts like a task that doesn’t require any organization, then you are making a big mistake. Assuming that documenting your processes can be done haphazardly will inevitably create disorder. This is because you will be gathering scraps of data that you will have to try and piece together later.

Instead, create a workflow for the documentation of your business processes. This workflow will make sure that everybody knows what data to gather, when to gather it and what to do with the information. As a result, the documentation process will happen faster and you won’t have to work hard to audit the information.

Don’t overdo it

An overly complex process document will end up wasting your time and confusing employees.

When you create the first draft of a process document, carefully review it and determine how you can make it more clear and concise. Be honest about what you do and don’t need. For example, if your process includes unnecessarily redundant steps, get rid of one.

Listen to your employees and be flexible

After you roll out your process documentation, you will inevitably get employee feedback about it. It’s critical that you give your team the opportunity to provide feedback. Be sure to listen to both positive and negative feedback, as you will be able to use this information to strengthen your entire process.

Make your process documents easily accessible

Your employees shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to refer back to your process documentation when they need it. If you send it out as an email or paper memo, then many people will lose or accidentally destroy it.

Make your process documents easily accessible – and immune to accidental destruction – by integrating it into your document management system. This will allow you to make the documents easily searchable for whomever needs to reference them.

Let your document management software do the heavy data lifting

As your document process is integrated, you will want to analyze it to determine how effective it is and where you can improve it. Although you can do all of this manually, you shouldn’t. Instead, rely on document management software to provide you with analytics data related to your process. This data will be provided in real time as your employees integrate a process. Also, the analytics won’t be subject to human error. As such, you will be able to make the right adjustments at a faster pace.

Your process documentation doesn’t have to overwhelm you! By taking the approach discussed in this article, your process documentation will be more effective than ever, while being less of a burden for your team.
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