21 Sep How to easily document your processes
Hi, there it’s Alison Bradford from alisonbradford.com, helping busy business owners who are looking to grow their business and make more profit, without putting in more and more of their time. And today I want to talk to you about how you can go about getting your processes documented. And I know this can seem like a mammoth task for a lot of business owners, and something that often gets put off.
So the first place to start, so number one is about making a list of all the processes that need documenting. And this can be something that you can do while you’re going about your day to day job, or get other team members to contribute to that as well. So start with, just get a list of everything that goes on in the business that needs documenting.
Once you’ve done that, the second thing I’m going to ask you to do is to prioritize that list. So, how do you prioritize that? Well, firstly, think about, you may have an imminent need for a new starter to be trained, so start with the processes they need to be able to know and understand what to do. Or you may be looking to document your processes to save some time and make some efficiency improvements.
So start with those things, the things that are irritating you the most. So prioritize that list and start with the highest priority. The third thing you need to do is think about how are you going to do it, so what format are you going to use to document your processes? So lots of people, when they think of processes, think of coming up with a big process manual, that’s going to be done in word or something similar, and you can do that so you can document them.
For example, like a recipe as a set of instructions in word format, or you could do them in a more visual format using flow charts again, which is quite a familiar format for processes lots of you may have seen.
A third way to do them, an alternative, and one of my favorites is actually to do them on video, and screen record it as you’re doing a process, record it using a screen recording software that you can talk over as well. That can be great for training.
A fourth way to format to look at documenting your processes is using templates. So these are particularly good if you’re looking to do your processes as a way to save time and be more efficient, things like email templates, having checklists, ways of documenting your processes like that can be a really good format.
So once you’ve agreed on your format, the next thing that you need to think about, which can often be overlooked, is how you’re going to store them, and importantly, how you’re going to keep them up to date with version control. So the last thing you want is to spend all this time coming up with some really useful processes that end up then setting in a drawer or gathering dust on a shelf. They need to be useful and they need to be usable.
So how are your team, or your customers, or whoever it is who’s going to use them going to be able to access them, and how are you going to keep them up to date. And then once you’ve done that, the really important next step is to just get on with it and start. Pick one and get it, done. Schedule the time in your diary to make this happen.
That’s the way that you’ll find the time to do it. And then maybe think about giving yourself a nice reward to motivate you for getting them done, finishing it. So that’s how to get your processes done. I hope you found that useful. Take care, and I will speak to you again very soon. Thank you.
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