Whether creating new business processes or fine-tuning existing ones, you need to make sure your documentation is effective. You'll take each task involved in your business and break it down into steps that are easy for anyone to understand.
So how do you know if you have efficient business processes? Watch the video below as I break down each one.
From the Video
- Short and Concise
Your business process description should be detailed, but also as short and concise as possible. All wording should be essential and directed at the goal of getting the task done.
A single business process should have no more than ten steps. If you outline all the steps and find that there are more than ten, split the task into two related tasks. Each step is essential, but if you have a task with more than ten, it can get too complicated to execute properly.
- Talk the Talk
The wording of business process documentation is critical. The way you write it can have a powerful impact on how your team members and support staff understand and perceive it. Also, if it's worded in an awkward or difficult way, it will be hard to edit and improve.
Use everyday language that's easy for anyone to understand. The tone should be informal and conversational. Write for clarity. Avoid using industry jargon or technical terms, and check to make sure the wording isn't vague.
- Show the Big Picture
The focus of your business process documentation should be the task at-hand. All the wording and every step should be directly related to getting the job done. However, wherever it would help, try to tie the task in to the big picture. Show where it fits into your overall business or what the intended result will be.
By showing the big picture, you put the task into context. This helps your team members understand how to most efficiently accomplish the work. When they have to make a decision, they'll make the right decision if they understand where it fits in and what it's supposed to accomplish.
- Little or No Supervision
Create each business process so that it can be accomplished with little or no help from others. Your team members shouldn’t have to go through a chain of command to get their designated task done. Each task should be designed for one person to do themselves.
- Make It Teachable
Each task should be understandable, but also teachable. You'll need to teach it to new team members. The best-case scenario is that you can teach one person and have them train others on the task. Especially as your business grows. Think of your processes as a “how to” or guide to accomplishing the task.
- Include Multimedia
This is my favorite one. I love love love using videos and visuals to help make things clear.
Wherever it makes the process easier, add images, videos, and other multimedia for reference. You can create a video to show the task step-by-step (screencasts) or use visuals to make it easier to understand.
The key is clarity. Write your business processes so that they're lean with no extra, unnecessary information, but provide enough information to effectively communicate how it's done.
If you need help with documenting your processes check out my PoweredUp Biz Tech Evaluation. You can purchase it here.
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