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5 Key considerations for process documentation

Posted by Gabriela Manzur on

Many companies usually start with energy and enthusiasm, but with a poor organization which in the medium term can hinder the operation. Each company is different, but all of them have basic activities which are key to success in their operations. Knowing them is essential to organize the efforts of managers and employees. A basic tool to achieve the coherence of our endeavor is the documentation of each of the processes. What is this about? Let's start!

Because of its etymological origin, the word process means "to walk forward." Hence, when applied to the business world, we can affirm that a process represents a series of logically ordered actions whose objective is to achieve the efficiency of an organization.

The sequence of steps -known as Business Process- is designed based on the detailed analysis of each activity that makes up the daily activities of the company, with the aim of increasing its profitability and reducing its costs.

Here are five things you should know about the documentation of processes, and that will help you perform it efficiently and accurately:

  1. It is a roadmap. Any activity done more than once or performed by more than one person must be documented. It allows standardization, and it  helps to identify  the stages that can be improved. Process documentation also facilitates the training of new employees.
  2. It is everyone's task. The members of an area or project are responsible for documenting their processes. Every employee knows their own functioning, their strengths, and their weaknesses, so they are the ones better indicated to document their processes. It is highly recommended that a person who is not involved in the work, reviews the documentation to provide a fresh and impartial look to improve processes and eliminate omissions.
  3. How to document the processes? You can use interviews, photographs, videos, team notes or brainstorm with the team. You can also count on the support of experts to make sure you cover all the information. In addition to documenting the processes of your organization, you must do it properly, if your procedure is poorly written it may cause problems. The documentation must explain the reason or purpose of the task, don´t omit information, but don´t include unnecessary information that may be distracting. Be brief. Use flowcharts to facilitate the query. Include a checklist to ensure that all steps are completed. Instead of a single document with all of the processes, it´s more efficient to document individual processes. Accurate documentation of the process can empower the teams and improve the efficiency of the company.
  4. Make them public. The documentation of the processes must be available to all team and company members. Restricting access to documentation creates the false illusion that it´s only relevant to a particular group.
  5. Flexible Documentation. Companies change, update, improve, so their processes are also subject to constant changes, don´t be afraid to incorporate the necessary adjustments to the documentation of the process to improve its effectiveness. Document the date of the last update. Save a backup copy of the files that document the process. Review the documents at least once a year.

In today's world we all look for things to be carried out in the best possible way, companies are no strangers to this, so the best way is to provide intuitive and task-based information, this is where process documentation becomes fundamental.

By: Andrés Mayo Góngora

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