​Process Documentation TIPS – Octhopus icon-account icon-glass
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​Process Documentation TIPS

The term process documentation was coined in 1978 by the Philippines National Irrigation Agency alluding a project in which social scientists traveled through villages to document agricultural processes.

In organizations we can differentiate three types of processes:

  • Strategic processes. In this section, we can group all those processes that give orientation to the business. For example, strategic planning.
  • Key processes. These processes are those that give value to the customer. For example, deliver a package (in a parcel and courier company) or prepare the food and serve it (in a restaurant).
  • Vertical or horizontal support processes. The processes that offer support to the central processes. For example, support or technical service, human resources department tasks.

A process can be divided into sub-processes, sub-processes into activities and activities into tasks. Tasks are the simplest actions. For example, sign a check or extend a voucher.

Here are some tips to make an adequate documentation of the processes of your company.

  1. To start, identify the process and the scope of it. 
  2. Identify who is addressed, in this way you can establish the language and details that will be included in the documentation.
  3. Create a context about the process you´re documenting; this can be done through a descriptive title and an introduction that summarizes the process, why or when the users should carry it out and how it fits into the structure of the organization.
  4. Make a description of the people involved and define their roles. Always use the names of their positions.
  5. Identify the start and end points.
  6. Define the results of the process.
  7. List all the activities necessary to complete the process. A brainstorm is an extremely useful activity to recognize activities.
  8. Organize your list in sequences of steps. Pay attention to how you divide these steps. The actions that are carried out together logically must remain together. If a step includes more than one verb, it should probably be separated into two.
  9. A flowchart is a useful instrument to visually represent every step.
  10. Add graphics, images or screenshots.
  11. Validate the process with different users.
  12. Ask your colleagues or collaborators to review your document and provide feedback.
  13. Remember that your document is a living document that will need to be updated continuously.

We hope these tips help you achieve an efficient documentation of your business processes.  

By: Andrés Mayo Góngora 

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