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How to Document a Process for Your Organization

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Feb 11, 2020

A company should implement processes for sales, marketing, fulfillment, talent management, and manufacturing. Each step of each process requires a responsible person who ensures the procedure is followed, is on schedule, and is completed to the correct standard.

To create a process in any department or part of your company, document how workers do things now. It's crucial to get a thorough understanding of how things are being done now, from corporate routines to individual habits, departmental timelines to implementation procedures.

Here are the nuts and bolts of creating a process.

First: write down what you do right now. If multiple people do the same thing, pay attention to the person who does it the most. To document the current steps, you can:

  • have someone write steps down as they watch the person doing them;Â
  • have the person performing the steps write them as they do them;
  • have a trainee write them down as their trainer does them.

Second: evaluate the steps to make sure they cover everything that needs to be accomplished. Edit as needed, adding, adjusting, or subtracting as needed.

Third: challenge the newly developed steps and expected outcomes. Bring together the team members who are responsible for performing the process you are working on. Discuss your testing and the steps that need to change in your process, and the outcomes that they need to achieve. Have them use the process exactly as written. Then test the new process with a few people for 2-4 weeks, noting any adjustments that may be necessary at the end of that period.

Fourth: implement your notes, one item at a time, after the test period. Observe the impact, if any, that this has on the process and its outcomes. Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments, train the rest of the responsible team in the new process.

As the new process now has a set list of steps and expectations, consistency depends on workers following that list to the letter. Checking off each step as it's completed means there is accountability: did the process fail for some unknown reason, or because someone didn't do what they were supposed to do? In a process where different people perform each step, a checklist enables you to determine where the problem occurred.

To recap, document how workers do things now to create a process in any department or part of your company. Get a thorough understanding of how things are being done now, from corporate routines to individual habits, departmental timelines to implementation procedures.

We'd love to hear from you. What areas of your company already have processes in place? Thank you for sharing.