The Steps to Documenting Your Processes

Is it just me, or does it seem like you just have to get everything organized at the beginning of the new year? The closets, my desk, email … it’s time to get everything organized to start the new year off on the right foot.

It’s the same in business, and I think the key is documentation. That’s why I’m tooting Fourlane’s horn! I’m proud to say that we now have our processes documented, and the benefits are enormous. Documentation provides:

  • consistency in the work we do,
  • clarity so that our team knows what is expected of them,
  • transparency so that marketing or sales can share the processes with clients, and
  • simplicity in training as we hire new staff.

Here’s what we did:

  • Start in the past. We started with the most recent projects and those that were straightforward.
  • Walk through it, completely. We then wrote down each step the team goes through, from the start of the project (in sales) to when the project is final. Make sure to include responsible parties. We include key points for our sales people to ensure they get all the information required on a project.
  • Make it clear and short. Editing is an important part of the process. Our entries have numbered steps that describe the process in enough (we hope) but not too much detail.
  • Vet it. The management team then reviewed the process and made any edits or changes they felt necessary.
  • Make it accessible. Our team uses a Wiki for all internal process documentation. Everyone in the company has access to it, and we can email entries should we need to.

Keep in mind that perfection is not the goal! I’m sure there are steps we’ve missed in one or two of the processes, but we’ll figure it out.

Good luck documenting your processes! It will benefit your company in the long run.

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