Businesses and the surrounding environment change rapidly and become more complex as it grows. In such cases, documents act as the beacon of light to be followed by present and future employees.
These documents provide information and the steps to be followed making the process easy to understand and simple to follow through.
What is business process documentation?
Business process documentation is a description manual or guides with information or instructions on different business-related situations. It is like a step-by-step guide or a ‘how-to’ manual for any business process.
It is an internal process guide. The types of business process documents are –
- Usage tutorial – It is a stepwise guide on the usage of any machine or device
- Operational checklist – It is can be a to-do or a list of requirements to carry out any business operation
- Flowchart – The steps involved and the hierarchy or flow of the steps to be followed
- Diagrammatic representation – It may include the organization structure, process flow, or work breakdown structure
- Training manuals – It contains the training process, method, mode of instruction, requirements, prerequisites, and FAQs
- Video tutorials
- Quick reference guides
- Onboarding documents and many more
All these documents make the process clear, easy to understand, and follow, reduce the gap between each step, and decrease the dependency.
The objectives of business process documents are –
- Easy to understand – A written set of instructions is easy to understand and follow for anyone.
- Transparency – These documents increase the transparency of the processes.
- Provides for contingency – A process document is written to cover the potential risks or all possible scenarios in any business function, hence in case of any emergency, this document provides for such contingency. For example – An employee has met with an accident and has gone on a 3-week medical leave, if the work of that employee is well documented, it is easy for another employee to fill in for him.
- Identifies bottlenecks – The document serves as the standard while the employee may face certain difficulties while executing the tasks, this helps to identify any bottlenecks in the process.
- Analysis – Identification of bottlenecks helps to analyse the effectiveness of the process. This aids in taking corrective actions.
- Saves time – Documentation increases the efficiency of executing the processes as it reduces the dependency on others.
Creating process documentation –
Step 1 – Identify, define and scope out the project – Determining the purpose of the document, identifying the steps involved and the requirements at each step, and defining the scope, nature, and desired outcomes of the process.
Step 2 – Actions or steps – Identify each step of the process, the requirements at each step, the expected level of outcome per step, and the potential risks or bottlenecks. Identify and list down all the tasks and the subtasks. Gauge the requirements for any supplementary material, references, or people.
Step 3 – Organize the process – Divide each step into tasks and subtasks and identify the people involved in each step. List down the flow of the process, the critical points, and all the stakeholders involved.
Step 4 – Monitoring and assessment – Identify the risks or the potential bottlenecks in the steps and provide a solution for them. Add control points that will help you monitor the process and assess for any discrepancies. This will ensure process effectiveness and control.
Step 5 – Review and report – Comparing the process document and actual performance help to assess the lacunas. Review the process for such variations to revise the steps to eliminate the gaps. Preparing reports, flowcharts, diagrams, or even case study serves as a record and point of reference for the future.
Step 6 – Feedback – Taking real-time feedback on the process from the employees and higher management officials helps to improve the process and make it work more smoothly.
Business Process Documentation is an effective way to ensure process efficiency and high-quality procedure implementation in your organization. Creating and maintaining these documents in a centralized location ensures smooth and easy communication, avoids delays, reduces costs, and ensures information security.
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