Process Documentation: Small Trouble – Big Gains

process documentation small trouble big gains

A brand new project blooms with a brand new process!

But the real nightmare lies in the process of elucidating the process manually repetitively on a loop.

So, are you tired of repeating instructions to your employees from the different internal departments about the same process over and over again?

Trust us when we say you are not alone. Today, 96% of organizations have documented procedures.

So, all you need is the implementation of Business Process Management (BPM) which streamlines the Process Documentation of your company.

Let’s start from the basics before exposing you to an avalanche of information regarding the process documentation.

Through this blog, we are going to guide you through:

What is Process Documentation?

A process document is a document that offers a thorough breakdown of how to carry out a task or procedure.

This is an internal document that is often distributed to various organizational stakeholders.

Instead of emphasizing the final result, it focuses more on the “how” of the process.

Additionally, this is a live document that is continuously updated as a project or job is completed.

For a variety of tasks, including deploying new software tools and on boarding new employees, you can build process documentation.

Process documentation helps you streamline your present processes by offering a roadmap for the actions that must be taken next.

It helps you make sure that every compartment of your organization is on the same page working towards a single common goal.

Most importantly, process documentation helps your personnel to get rid of the poor habits to remember stuff like having sticky notes, writing down on their palms (relying completely on their brains, not kidding) etc.

What are Business Processes?

Before taking you on a long drive through this whole process documentation thingy, it is truly essential to let know what we mean by business processes.

So, if you are new to the term process itself, let’s see what we have here.

A business process is a series of actions taken by several members of a company to accomplish a task.

It should be perfectly detailed and feasible and should specify which stakeholder is responsible for whatever stage while executing a task.

It should also help in the fusion of consistent results when used as the basis for different related concepts such as business process management, process documentation, etc.

Why is Process Documentation Important?

When developing a new process or streamlining an existing one, documentation is essential.

Writing it down in a document eliminates any uncertainty and puts your operations in line with the objectives of your company.

Stakeholders will have a very difficult time understanding their roles in carrying out a task if your processes are not well stated.

  • Consistency

    Your duties will be carried out more consistently if your process steps are laid out in a document. Having comprehensive process documentation can help you ensure consistency even when several stakeholders work together on a same activity.

  • Structure

    Process documentation helps you to compartmentalize your tasks more effectively. Your staff members will understand exactly what should be done first and last. Additionally, they are able to clearly comprehend their roles and locate themselves within the larger process.

  • Operational clarity

    Some tasks may present obstacles for employees to overcome. With process documentation, they always have a written record to fall back on and consult. Critical tasks can be successfully completed as a result of this.

  • Common goal

    Process documentation helps you to make sure that every department knows the big picture. It gives a balcony view of your company’s growth and the immediate steps to be taken to achieve the expected business value. You will be eventually able to ensure that all the wheels are on the rails.

What is the Ultimate Aim of Process Documentation?

The primary goal of process documentation is to monitor how a process or activity is being carried out.

Your current documentation can help you understand your processes better and take action to make improvements.

You may increase quality, increase efficiency, eliminate defects, reduce costs, and more with the use of documentation.

Who Play Vital Roles in Process Documentation?

As already established above, we have the managers, the stake holders and the members of different teams in the company to bring a successful fruition of the Process Documentation.

But there are 3 different departments who are responsible to carry it out cutting all the edges.

  • Service Desk

    Service desk managers and technicians are the first people who do the process of initiation. They address various aspects of the processes including how to handle customer inquiries, how to handle critical and non-critical issues, how to resolve the most common tickets, etc.
    This is where a manager should be able to assess his service desk team and take crucial decisions like seeking help from the IT help desk outsourcing services which got the experts to bring you the tailor-made solutions that you need.

  • Project Management

    This again includes the crucial board of members like the service desk manager, executive technician, and chief executive officer from the project management team. They come together to make critical decisions such as installing a new server and ejecting the old software and servers for that matter.

  • Users Communication

    Process documentation also has a crucial section dedicated to communication with the users. You must be able to scrutinize the way your customers submit tickets. This is also the place where you decide upon the effective methods for your service desk team to communicate with your customers, eradicating the glitches that lie in the way.

How to Create a Perfect Process Documentation?

If you have already decided to build a Process Documentation Culture within your company, cheers! Here are the basics that you need to know before getting to start with the implementation of Process Documentation.

  • Create an Outline

    For starters, map out a plan. Avoid diving deep without having a plan, you might regret it in the stage from where you shouldn’t look back. Ensure that you have a clear blue print from start to finish, before filling your ink.

  • Precise Introduction

    For any kind of documentation a crisp and clear introduction is important. It should be able to say for itself what the main objective of the documentation is. It doesn’t have to render a big picture but the goal should be made clear in the intro part itself. Do avoid fluffy preambles, especially if you are a lover of writing!

  • Sandwich Structure

    If you don’t know how to go about the structure. Just keep in mind that the sandwich structure is always around the corner and it is provenly effective. It just consists of 3 parts “intro”, “body” and “conclusion”. It definitely gives your document the smooth structure it needs and helps ensure that the documentation is easy to skim through.

  • Less is More

    Remember that you can do more with less here. (I am completely aware that I am repeating it, but it deserves a separate space for itself) Being precise is the key! Avoid asides though you are tempted to include them. Be sparse in words, make sure that you include only the necessary. Also, no editorializing, keep it simple and to the point.
    To cut to the chase, kill your Darlings!

  • Contingencies are Crucial

    Avoid adding contingencies like asides and comments. Contingencies are important and they deserve their own sentences. Make them appear immediately after the specific point which needs it. Plan-Bs should be made as clear as the main plan itself.

  • Keep it Active!

    This is another key tip to remember. Avoid using excess of passive voice, it makes your document go fluffy and numb and what more, it directly affects the readers’ response. Ensure that the document transfers the right kind of energy. Always remember to use active voice in order to keep things sharp and to the point. Your language speaks for itself.

  • Make it Picture Perfect

    If you want to add visuals to render the document more clear, get on with it. There is no rule stating that a document should be cent percent theory. Adding screenshots are one of the best ways to ensure clarity. Beyond that you can consider adding the following to your process document.

    ○ Checklists
    ○ Bullet points
    ○ To do lists
    ○ Tutorials
    ○ Videos or GIFs
    ○ Photos or illustrations
    ○ Process maps, flowcharts or diagrams

P.S You can also use colours to highlight and categorize the activities without any hesitation. Who can be an artist in your company, if not you?!

Lest we forget,

Process Documentation has got much more benefits hidden in its treasury apart from the ones mentioned.

To list out a few not-to-be-missed ones,

  • Reduces frequent errors
  • Boosts operational efficiency
  • Eliminates the burden of busywork
  • Enhances processes
  • Improves communication
  • Streamlines resources
  • Establishes the common goal

Building a complete culture of documentation from scratch might sound like a difficult and enormous task to be done. Those small troubles will be worth the Big Gains in store.

So, trust us when we say, Process Documentation is worth giving a shot!

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